The 6 best car ads, according to Hagerty readers
With the advent of television, automotive advertisements became an art form all their own, reaching billions of people worldwide. From commercials punctuating the local news to the highly-polished spots during Super Bowl timeouts, brands pour time and money into sub-minute segments meant to convince us to reach for our wallets.
Despite brands’ massive investments, some ads fail miserably—but others work spectacularly, as the six examples below prove. We asked Hagerty Forum users to tell us the best car commercials, and they didn’t disappoint.
Here are the six best automotive ads, as chosen by Hagerty Forums readers, for you to enjoy.
Though Ram has since broken free from the Dodge brand, its trucks have almost always maintained a gritty, hardworking attitude. This fan favorite debuted at the Super Bowl and utilized Paul Harvey—arguably one of America’s favorite voices—voicing an ode to the American farmer over artfully crafted images. Did it tell us anything about the truck? No, but in this case, that’s okay.
Volkswagen had an uphill battle to sell cars in the U.S. following World War II. However, its ad agency put together simple and playful ads that captured American’s attention. This example answered what could only be described as a perfect dad joke of a question—“what does the snowplow driver drive to get to the plow?” Of course, during an era of big (and beautiful) domestic cars, the light, rear-wheel-drive Beetle was a comparatively excellent solution.
The powersports world is sometimes forgotten when it comes to advertisements, often because snowmobile and ATV spots apply to a smaller audience segment than their automotive equivalents. However, some of the longest-running and happiest-sounding catch phrases come from powersports ads. “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” may be the most famous, but this ad for Kawasaki has more than convinced me to let the good times roll. Look at all those smiling faces.
A 30-second ad that shows the vehicle at hand for a mere eight seconds was surely a hard sell, but we think Chevrolet made the right move for this SSR ad. Really, with a design as polarizing as the SSR, eight seconds was probably all this ad needed. The additional soap-in-the-mouth joke certainly makes this a memorable clip—especially to anyone who endured the practice.
Play with high-performance cars for any significant amount of time and you will likely meet at least one law enforcement officer on the side of the road. This spot centers around that exact interaction, as the citizen tries—and fails—to convince an officer that his 1970 Dodge Challenger cannot be a race car: “Look, it has concealed wipers, and it’s got dual headlights!”
There were a few MG adverts included in the list, but the most iconic by far is this spot, in which a driver gives a hearty push to his red MG B—sending it out the back of a plane. He follows along and both parachute carefully to the ground before driving off with a fleet of other British motorcar enthusiasts. We’ve covered the crazier aspects of this ad before, but the quick tale is that it took two cars. One fared better than the other.
This list was created using input from the Hagerty Forums during our weekly Question of the Week. Be sure to follow along each Friday and leave an answer—yours might just be featured when we round up the answers the following week.
Right now, we’re hunting for readers’ favorite races, so be sure to chime in.