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.
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.
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!
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
Sony Bravia - Balls
A nice ad that looks phenomenal.
Citroen C4 - Transformer
Fun, funky, French. Stone-cold classic.
PG Tips - Monkey and Al
Sony Bravia - Paint
John West - Bear
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
Skoda Fabia - Cake
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.
Well observed, but hardly the best ad of the last ten years.