Cars adverts are generally better than the average advert – and that should come as little surprise. If you’re trying to sell something that costs £20,000 you need to be pretty good at selling. And it helps if you have ten million to blow on your campaign.
The industry had something of a hair shirt on this year, so grandstanding adverts were in short supply. Moreover, one of our featured adverts really does reference the recent scare that car-makers went through, when highlighting Chrysler’s rebirth.
What’s more, we haven’t had much from Honda recently, past masters of the car advert, so there’s been a lack of genuine knock-outs. Still, if we look across the pond we can find real quality.
These are the best car adverts of 2011.
Nissan Leaf – Gas-powered Everything Advert
Genius – or disingenuous. Whether you agree with the message behind this advert for the electric Nissan Leaf it’s fair to say it highlights the propaganda – no emissions! – about electric vehicles pretty well.
Of course, all that energy needs to be generated somewhere so it’s rather misleading, but if your aim is to suggest that ICE cars are dirty and ridiculously inefficient – and electric cars are the exact opposite – this ad does a pretty good job.
Chrysler Eminem Advert
Chrysler finds some fighting spirit and restores some pride in Detroit’s rich history. This ad, which wowed viewers during the Superbowl, provides a defiant statement that the US is back in business and mines a rich seam that references America’s blue collar and fearsome industrial history.
It looks amazing, its well-constructed and, even though its worth pointing out that Chrysler has been rescued by a bunch of polo-necked Italians, the advert’s so good it seems churlish to reference it.
Chrysler is back, it says, and we mean business.
Volkswagen – The Force Advert
Although I’d question whether this really works as a way of showing off a car – and difficult to place a particular product within the ad (it’s the new Passat by the way), but who cares with 40 bazillion views?
Skoda Superb – Glasses Advert
A lovely little spot that had the very poor fortune to be out at the same time as another advert that featured people making noises with glasses.
Even so, it’s another score for Skoda, who’ve had a good run with their adverts for the Fabia and Fabia VRS.
Renault Megane Advert
Despite some of the worst dubbing ever, this one’s a smart, funny little spot for the Renault Megane that provides a total swerve that’s rewarding and post-modern.
Cars ads always sold sex back in the day – and this one would have led to a bunk-up with a Megane sitting smugly outside a chic apartment building back in the day.
However, New Megane Man genuinely does just want to drive his car. Because it’s that good. But, just in case you are interested in pulling, the girls like it too. Score two for Renault.
A hearty slap on the back to Nissan's PR department, who have marked the end of the iconic Gateshead car-park featured in Get Carter with a stunning photoset and video of the Nissan Juke doing its stuff around the building.
The brutalist Trinity Square car-park, designed in 1962, is due to be pulled down by Tesco's development subsidiary as part of a scheme to regenerate the area. Opened in the mid-60s, the car-park services a Gateshead shopping centre but was poorly-received and weathered badly. Rather poignantly, a cafe built into the structure on the roof never opened.
It did find a kind of fame though, when Michael Caine threw the bloke out of Coronation Street off the top of it during his vengeful search for his brother's murderer. Get Carter paints a pretty bleak image of Newcastle and the north-east, but the flick has given the striking Trinity building a level of fame, even if there is little fondness for it.
Nissan has got the final use of it, with Wearside employee Nigel Sidney getting the car-park to himself for a spot of hooning in the new Juke, which is built down the road in Sunderland. It's a sign of how Nissan has become embedded in the area that the Juke drive has come to pass at all.
Leader of Gateshead Council, Councillor Mick Henry said, “This structure has dominated Gateshead Town Centre since 1969 and been a constant talking point. Today is the last time any car will drive on it, so it seems fitting that a model made in our region be involved in bidding farewell.
"It is the end of an era and we anticipate that travel to and around the new development in the town centre will change beyond recognition from what we built here in the 1960s."
The demolition of the site seems rather a shame to us, with plans to redevelop the site coming to nothing, as one man's derelict car-park is another man's Barbican.
But perhaps that's the price of progress. Something that, in the car industry, we're constantly reminded of.