The greatest car commercials of all time

top car commercials

Advertising is such an important tool to a business. If you make a hit commercial, you’ve pretty much won! Research has found that television advertising is responsible for 71% of advertising-generated profit. It can even provide a four-fold increase on your investment over three years. The likes of online videos have helped this, with motion content becoming four times more effective since 1996.

So, is it really any wonder that companies try to bend over backwards in a bid to engrain their product on the minds of the public? Whether it’s the Honey Monster munching away on Sugar Puffs, a belly that’s ‘gonna get ya’ advertising Reebok, or a monkey drumming away for Cadbury’s, brands in every sector put a lot of effort into perfecting their on-screen advertising. Here, with Lookers, who have a wide range of car servicing plans, we look at the best car commercials to have graced our screens.

I see you baby…

The Renault Megane’s distinctive rear end burst onto the scene in an iconic advert which saw the car darting about the streets, while shaking derrieres flashed in and out of shot. However, it wasn’t widely appreciated when it hit our screens in 2003. So many wobbling rumps prompted 139 viewer complaints and the television watchdog slapped a ban on the advert being aired before 7.30pm.


Va Va Voom

Another Renault masterpiece was unveiled when French footballer Thierry Henry focused on the Renault Clio. In 2001, the Arsenal forward was brought in to help the stereotypical ‘women’s car’ become more gender neutral. Adding ‘a little bit of va va voom’ certainly didn’t alienate the female viewers either, and the car – as well as the advert – is still a popular choice for the British public.

Safety first

Recently, Volkswagen had two television ads banned because there was concern that they encouraged irresponsible driving. One, which showed a son growing up, resembled a daddy/daughter advertisement from 2013. However, while the recent clips show a father being concerned as his son is involved in near-misses behind the wheel, the past effort tugged on the heart strings a lot more – and avoided being chopped!

This ad saw the focus placed on the Volkswagen Polo as viewers watched a dad protect his daughter through every step of her life before eventually handing her the keys to her new car – a one she can feel safe in. What a great story line!

Going home

Audi’s slogan for their 2016 advert was ‘born on the track, built for the road’. The ad saw a pick of their best models heading for Le Mans. To the backing of a haunting version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’ track, the screenplay pays homage to the car manufacturer’s golden era in the motorsport, in which they won 13 out of 18 races, before they turned their attention to Formula E. The ad featured RS models, including the TT RS Coupé and the R8 Spyder.


It’s good to be bad

This powerful ad by Jaguar was first aired at the Super Bowl. It had huge pressure to be a hit as there was a huge audience expecting – and it didn’t disappoint. Featuring the Jaguar F-Type Coupé, prominent British actors Sir Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong portray the British bad guy culture that has been built up by Hollywood.


Singin’ in the rain

In 2006, Volkswagen updated their original Golf GTI and introduced it via a body-popping version of Gene Kelly’s famous singing in the rain sketch from 1962. Finishing up his smooth moves, Gene eventually stops outside of parked up Golf GTI to bring an end to a well put-together commercial.



Transformers are a popular choice, be it in toy form, in the movies or, in this case, the advert. Citroen released this ‘groovy’ commercial with a dancing Citroen C4 robocar in 2007 along with the slogan ‘alive with technology’. Next time you hear Jacques Your Body by Les Rythmes Digitales, why not try to bust the moves as well as a Citroen?

Piece of cake

The British public love baking. Skoda took advantage of this in 2007 when they created a life-size Skoda Fabia made entirely of cake. With the slogan ‘full of lovely stuff’, the manufacturer forked out £500,000 on the advertisement in a bid to give the brand a new lease of life. The scrumptious-looking cake, which featured 180 eggs, 100kg of flour, 100kg of caster sugar, 30kg of almonds and 65kg of dried fruit showcased the car’s attractive design in a bid to leave viewers’ mouths watering.

What the cluck?

While this is a very strange advert, it certainly sticks in your head once you’ve seen it. The German manufacturers simply used chickens to illustrate ‘stability at all times’ and ‘magic body control’ with their smooth motions going in time with the backing track.

Piece by piece

A domino effect helped the Honda Accord burst onto the scene bit by bit. The Japanese manufacturers used every cog of the car to knock into another in a creative fashion before eventually introducing the new model with a pull-down banner. Great patience must have been had by the ad’s director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet to successfully pull off the masterpiece.

An Aerospace engineer by profession, Bob has a deep passion for automobiles. He started blogging on automotive stuffs since 2010 and still has the same drive for the automobiles. Feel free to contact him using the "Contact Us" form.Add Bob on FB