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10 Most Memorable Car AdvertsBack

Car manufacturers put a lot into their products. It isn’t cheap bringing a new car to market when you factor in research, design, regulatory compliance, manufacturing plant, sourcing materials and so on. Hence, each new product launch is a major risk for a car firm.

If marketed and priced incorrectly, even a good car can become a huge financial liability. This is why – perhaps more than any other industry – car makers invest heavily in memorable (and expensive) advertising.

To remind us of their efforts, we present the 10 car adverts we think have been the most memorable of recent years.

Mazda 2: “Wall of Death”

This (new) advert takes the relatively ordinary Mazda 2 and makes it do something extraordinary: ride the “Wall of Death” – normally the province of stunt motorcyclists. It’s an amazing feat and a powerful testament to the abilities of modern cars.

Honda: “The Cog”

Who could forget this epic, clever and entirely brilliant ad for the Honda Accord. A symphony of precision animation and design, with a compelling message. Famously, the ad took over 200 takes to get right.

Volkswagen: If Only Everything in Life Was as Reliable As…

Back in the 1980s this brilliant, humourous, silent clip managed to tell a universal story and touched a nerve with car owners everywhere. Arguably, it was this ad that cemented VW’s reputation for reliability and continues to inform how it is perceived to this day.

Citroen: Picasso

In truth, a car such as the Citroen Picasso is a relatively humdrum vehicle and, like most modern cars, is designed and built primarily by computers. This ad cleverly turned the notion on its head to give the car a cheeky, artistic slant that helped make the Picasso one of Citroen’s biggest sales successes – stealing a big slice of the market from the hitherto unstoppable Renault Espace.

Audi: “Ugly Duckling”

This contemporary ad goes a long way to humanising Audi – a brand which in some regard is often seen as very clinical. It cleverly uses the format of a fairy story to remind us how far cars have come in terms of design over time.

Ford Focus: “Beautifully Arranged”

This brilliantly orchestrated (ahem!) ad featured a real life performance by musicians using custom built instruments made from Ford Focus parts. 21 instruments were created in all, especially for this advert, and the music too was written solely for the advert by film composer Craig Richey.

BMW: “It’s only a car”

This stunningly evocative ad tapped into the essence of the car’s appeal by subverting the commonly heard phrase “it’s only a car.” It helped to remind us why so many of us fall in love with our cars in the first place, and continued BMW’s long campaign to differentiate themselves from the herd.

Toyota Yaris: “You Could Love it Too Much”

Toyota ran a very successful campaign to promote the Yaris which played on the feeling that many people that a car is almost a “member of the family.” Overstating that sentiment for comic effect, the campaign helped Toyota establish the Yaris as a fun, cheeky presence and a big seller in a very competitive market sector.

Mercedes C-Class: Soul Like No Other

This timeless ad from Mercedes reminds us how every car has a history and a part to play in many lives (especially pertinent to us as a used car site!) In it, an old C-Class is sent to the crusher and we relive its life and history as seen through its windscreen. Strangely moving in many ways.

Volkswagen Polo: Small But Tough

This highly controversial ad was never show on TV – and for obvious reasons. Whether it was ever intended to be a real advert (and the production values suggest to us that it was) it was quickly disowned by Volkswagen but became a sensation on the internet. Whatever you might think of the very questionable politics that can be discerned in the ad, once you’ve seen it the shock value and humour stay with you long after more anodyne adverts have faded from memory.

What do you think? What’s your favourite ever TV car advert? Do car adverts really influence your buying decision? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 15/05/2012