Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Are there really 50 great car commercials?

Recently the online magazine Complex listed its 50 best car commercials of all time.

While there are some great spots on the list, most of their selections left me wondering if they had ever seen a good commercial.

Included are such gems as this juvenile effort for Dodge Durango, the hipster rodents for Kia, and their number one spot OF ALL TIME! is this horribly off-brand message from Audi.

Borrowing from pop culture doesn't make a commercial great. A dick joke doesn't make a commercial great.

What makes a commercial great is an original idea flawlessly executed. Here are three of my all time favorites.

All these spots say something relevant about the brand and product. They say it in a voice that's consistent with who they are and the personality they want to project. The Chrysler spot doesn't just borrow interest, it leverages it to force a re-evaluation of the brand – let's just hope they didn't fire that round prematurely, before they have the product to live up to the promise.

The mistake the editors at Complex made was trying to name 50 best car commercials, because it's pretty clear, there just aren't that many.


  1. Touche Salesman. The Chrysler's a real BAMF. Seen the Juke? It wasn't spot on brand definition, but it was definitely building something interesting. (Turbo Donuts)

  2. I agree with you, Harvey. It is surprising how much bad advertising there is in the automotive category.

    I never understood the rodents (maybe, I 'm just not in the demographic). The most interesting thing about the Audi spot is the actor (Alex Rocco) portrayed Moe Green in the Godfather.

    Thanks for finding some good ones. It's easy to find the bad, so I will. My nomination for the all-time-worst list is Eric Estrada in the Toyota Sell-A-Thon spot. I know, that was way too easy.