AdTurds Bad Adverts – Badverts

2Feb/114

The Best Car Adverts Ever

best car adverts ever

How to pick the best car adverts ever? As any fool know, car adverts tend to be the best during the commercial break. More cash to splash, more cool to sell; more creative licence, more humour, better visuals.

So car ads tend to look better and be more engaging than any others. Many of them are little art forms in their own right: expounding on the car as expression of freedom; pushing that emotional connection; as a driver of industry and innovation and - sometimes - as an excuse to go totally batshit crazy.

Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Honda have taken most of the plaudits over the last 15 years but I've delved deeper into the archives - you can see the best car adverts of the 80s and best cars adverts of the 90s here - to find car adverts that defined their sector, their generation or a paradigm in car design and technology.

Not all of the cars are great - the Honda adverts don't even try to sell a specific model in some cases - and some reside more in the automotive sector as a whole. But there's something fascinating, meaningful or simply brilliant here. You can put your mark next yo your favourite or suggest your own at the bottom. But for my money these are the best car adverts ever.

The Best Car Adverts Ever

Ford Fiesta - This Is Now

A great combination of visuals and audio for a genuinely brilliant car. The way that cars - and people's attitudes towards them - a lifestyle choice, a statement, a gadget - started to change in the mid-200s is perfectly realised here.

Peugeot 206 - Sculptor

A great soundtrack and nice idea for the 206, a car with the impossible task of replacing the Peugeot 205. Would have been even better if the result had been an Austin Ambassador.

Citroen C5 - Unmistakeably German

This Citroen C5 advert is beautifully witty and so well executed, even down the phenomenally German-looking bloke in the ad. It was part of a push in the mid-Noughties from virtually all volume manufacturers to take their cars upmarket towards BMW, Mercedes and the like. Because of adverts like this it worked a little bit. But you'll be hard pushed to find many C5 on the road. See also: Renault Vel Satis, Renault Laguna, Peugeot 607, Seat Exeo, Volkswagen Phaeton.

Honda - Impossible Dream

This generic Honda advert looks great and it's quite affecting. But its actually telling the story of Honda through various semi-hidden details and references. As such it's kind of a piece of corporate art, but it looks great so what the hell?

Volkswagen Golf - Night Driving

When was the last time you simply went for a drive? Ages ago, in all likeihood. Our crowded island with its choked-up arteries mitigates against driving for pleasure yet, if you're into cars, there's so much fun to be had. For me driving can be peaceful, energising; time to think or simply indulge the senses. With a car that is responsive, taut, comfortable, planted, engaged it's still possible to simply go out for a drive and enjoy your car, rather than hate your time in it. To connect with that elusive emotion is quite something.

This VW Golf car advert is simply one of my favourite things ever. Richard Burton reads Dylan Thomas over Cliff Martinez. Stunning. Beautiful. Moving. Simply incredible.

Citroen C4 - Transformer

Wonderful bonkers stuff from Citroen, with two car adverts that suit its leftfield, quirky brand image superbly. Pity they're for the C4, probably one of the more boring cars on the road. But these advert firmly align Citroen with cutting-edge technology, which is never a bad idea when you're selling cars. Increasingly they're gadgets on wheels, after all.

Honda Civic - Choir

Clever, clever, clever. Honda's adverts from the Noughties really captured that emotional connection people form with cars. The way they can thrill, open up possibilities and stir the senses. It's what Clarkson has built a whole career on and Honda absolutely nails it in this advert for the wonderful Civic.

Seat Leon

Car adverts can be funny too. Here's Mark Heap demonstrating that emotional connection - the reason people spend such huge amounts of cash on things that depreciate like a concrete narwhal.

Volkswagen Golf GTi - Singin In The Rain

Lovely stuff in the VW car advert from the mid-Noughties. Well conceived and executed by David Elsewhere, who won a lot of praise from Gene Kelly's family for his take on Singin' In The Rain.

Audi RS4 - Spider

Making your car appear genuinely terrifying is a brave move, but a kinda obvious one for performance saloons like the fearsome RS4 when you consider the kind of people likely to buy one.

Awesome stuff.

Honda Accord - Cog

All-time stone-cold classic and probably the best car adverts of all time.

Vauxhall - Sledgehammer

One of my favourites advert ever; a great mix of visuals and music and so memorable. Pity it ruins it with that awful Clapton riff that was Vauxhall's corporate jingle for years.

Ford Puma - Bullitt

Tricky to reference something so iconic, but great CGI and the best car of all time - the Ford Puma of course - make it work. Awkward CGI in many ads since have shown the dangers of such an ad.

Dunlop - Tested for the Unexpected

Fucking insane. Tony Kaye genius. It's advertising tyres! One of the best adverts of all time - nevermind car adverts.

Citroen CX - Le Beaute Sauvage

A giant Grace Jones head in the desert burps out a Citroen CX, also driven by Grace Jones. She shouts and drives back into her own head. Presumably it's all meant to evoke savage beauty, rather than ungainly French rust-bucket. Fucking mental, as Citroen adverts should be.

Castrol GTX

Simplicity itself - ensuring that this iconic spot for Castrol is one of the most memorable car adverts ever.

Volvo airbag

Genuinely driving a car onto a genuine airbag? Could there be a better way of embedding your brand with the fundamental concept of safety? Works for Volvo.

Best Car Advert Ever: Vote

Pick your best car adverts ever below.

20Dec/098

ITV’s Best Adverts Of The Decade

As has become more apparent of late, I do like some adverts. As it's the end of the decade it's the season for 'best of' lists looking back over the last ten years. Inevitably, rather than do something more interesting like putting an angry Charlie Brooker in a room with some ad execs, there's a perfunctory 'best 20 ads of the decade'-type programme tonight titled ITV's Best Adverts Of The Decade.

ITV's Best Adverts Of The Decade

All of the choices are pretty obvious, which is not to say they're not good, by and large. Frankly the programme doesn't do them justice, nor do the awful talking heads who contribute absolutely fuck all to our appreciation or understanding of the ads.

Some people called Mark Charnock, Andrew Castle, Sharon Marshall, Jonny Vegas (actually I like Jonny Vegas), Stephen Mulhern, Anthony Worrall-Thompson, Claire Beale, Paul Ross, Kym Marsh, Duncan Bannatyne and some dancing kid compete to be the biggest twunt on display.

Astonishingly it's not Paul Ross, but Andrew Castle – a man with all the charm and searing insight of a pile of dog shit. Anyway, I've collected them all below, along with my own pithy opinions of the ads in question.

ITV's Best Adverts Of The Decade

Halifax - Howard

No, no, no, no, no. Fuck no.

Budweiser - Wassup!

Shit.

Cadbury's eyebrows

Shit.

John Smiths Peter Kay adverts

Funny, probably Peter Kaye's best work.

Carlsberg - Old Lions

Brilliant, lovely to see everyone's favourite old footie players in action one more time.

Waterslide - Barclays

Event ads jump the shark. Patronising, twee and fairly disingenuous drivel.

Volkswagen Golf GTi - Singin in the Rain

An undisputed classic.

Sure For Men - Stunt City

Quite amusing.

Sony Bravia - Balls

A nice ad that looks phenomenal.

Citroen C4 - Transformer

Fun, funky, French. Stone-cold classic.

PG Tips - Monkey and Al

Quite funny.

Sony Bravia - Paint

Quite pleasant.

John West - Bear

Quite amusing.

T-Mobile Dance

This first example of flash mob advertising is quite good.

Guinness - Tipping Point

I've long since tired of Guinness' smug, ethnic vibe. And it's a rip-of of the far-superior Cog.

Cadbury's - Gorilla

Quite funny.

Skoda Fabia - Cake

Lovely.

Honda - Cog

It had to be. It's not my personal favourite but it's a slice of fried gold.

Compare the Meerkat

Funny and gains points for subverting an awful genre, but rapidly becoming tiresome.

Hovis

Well observed, but hardly the best ad of the last ten years.

Hate adverts?

This is the one chance you’ll ever get to fight back against terrible adverts. For once, the boot can be on the other foot. Deliver it to the knackers of evil – and hit the buttons below.

Still here?

You should definitely sign up below. Every extra follower makes Gladstone Brookes unhappy.