Toyota Aygo V Citroen C1 V Peugeot 108

Type ‘city cars, fun’ into Google and you get 210m results. That’s because – in the absence of powerful engines, taut handling, luxurious refinement, big interior space and hi-tech gadgets – there’s not a huge amount else to trump when you’re selling these little cars, other than their price.

Hence, in these three adverts for the Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 108 there’s one theme reinfored again and again: fun. Toyota has even gone so far as to suggest you ‘go fun yourself’, which is a bit much. Peugeot reinforces the idea that you can personalise the 108 to your heart’s content.

Citroen, interestingly, has a young man in its advert – a rare departure for these cars that tend to be aimed at women. It’s also ‘naturally urban’ – and to prove it, here’s a picture I took of it on the recent launch in Coventry.

What’s interesting about these cars is that they are essentially, despite what manufacturers say, the same car so we have a rare opportunity to see how three different brands are represented by three different agencies given the same product to market.

That they have managed to create three fairly separate identities for them – with three clear messages – is pretty clever. That they’re decent ads is all the more impressive.

My tip? Avoid the 1.0-litre engine and go for the 1.2. That rules out the Aygo but, frankly, if you like the colours who am I to argue? Let me know which one you like best.

Citroen C1 – Naturally Urban

Harry Potter goes hipster in Breaking Bad car-park.

Peugeot 108 – This Time It’s Personal

Androgynous robots stalk through JG Ballard landscapes.

Toyota Aygo – Go Fun Yourself

Futuristic neo-noir directed by MGMT.