Best TV car adverts of all time: Do you agree?
It’s safe to say automotive advertising has come a long way from the initial newspaper advert of 1898 which asked you to “dispense with a horse” and opt for the Winton Motor Carriage instead.
So much so that Honda’s iconic advert, The Cog, is recognised as one of the best adverts of all time, despite only being broadcast just ten times over a ten-day period in April 2003, due to the high cost of such lengthy TV advertising slots.
Best ever: Honda Accord – The Cog
It’s not hard to see why this advert is so appealing and pleasing to watch. What starts off as a simple show of cause and effect soon grows and grows into something much bigger as the stunt gets more and more amazing. Those in the know might say it was shot in the style of a Rube Goldberg machine following a chain of colliding parts taken from a disassembled Honda Accord. Others will just think it looks cool.
Costing £1m to make, with production lasting over seven months, the advert took 606 takes between testing and filming to capture the final cut. What’s more it was a huge success for Honda.
We hope whoever set this whole thing up got a knighthood, or at least a raise and a long holiday.
But which other adverts have captured our imaginations over the years?
Other contenders: Ford Puma – Return of Bullitt
Ford looked beyond the grave in 1997 to get the ultimate endorsement for their latest model, the Ford Puma.
Cleverly cutting footage of the Steve McQueen hit film Bullitt and replacing the iconic Mustang Fastback with the new Puma, Ford hoped that this nod toward quick and cool would boost the sales of their new model. While it was discontinued in 2001, the advert certainly got everyone talking at the time.
We wonder if they’ll get any deceased actors to endorse the revived Puma…
Jeep - Groundhog Day
It’s safe to say the best thing about the Super Bowl isn’t the endless game of American Football played out in the wee hours of the morning, no it’s all the adverts for cool stuff coming out soon.
As the 2020 Super Bowl also happened to fall on Groundhog Day, the stars aligned for something very special to happen. No, not the Kansas City Chiefs winning for the first time in 50 years but Bill Murray making his first-ever commercial.
With a heart-warming spin on Murray’s infamous film, he is once again tossed into a time loop and lives out the same day over and over. The twist is this time he gets to drive in a Jeep Gladiator pick-up, and filled with glee every morning he takes the groundhog on a variety of adventures to show how much fun the truck is.
Skoda Fabia – The Cake
Coming along a decade too early what with the UK’s current obsession with all things baking, this mouth-watering advert shows how a car is built from the ground up with a mammoth supply of ingredients to make one hell of a showstopper.
Rumour has it that Mary Berry bought the delicious Fabia after the filming of the advert, only for the car to be immediately disassembled and taken away by an army of ants as she tried to drive away from the dealership.*
Renault Clio – The Saga of Nicole and Papa
Viral long before such a term had been invented thanks to the "Papa!" "Nicole" and "Nicole!" "Papa" verbal exchange, eight adverts were produced from 1991-98 to showcase the Renault Clio, with the big finale showcasing the all-new second-generation model.
The final advert, a spoof of The Graduate saw Nicole leave Vic Reeves at the altar and run away with Bob Mortimer in his new Clio. As Vic and Bob were at the height of their popularity thanks to Shooting Stars, a staggering 23 million people tuned in to watch.
*This didn’t actually happen