Top 3 Most Clever Car Commercials

Off-road car on winter landscape

Commercials are designed to be so unique that the good ones can even be considered an entertainment genre in their own right. They’re punchy, fun and memorable. They accomplish the advertisers’ goals of catching your attention and getting you to remember a brand. An ad can still entice you if you’re not in the market for a new car. Even if you’re not shopping for brand new or used cars, you’ll still enjoy and remember the following three car commercials that have left a lasting impression on the industry and consumers:

“The Cog”

This 2003 Honda commercial displays a long sequence in which various car parts form and operate a Rube Goldberg device. The short tagline comes at the very end: “Isn’t it nice when things just work?” Throughout the two-minute commercial, audiences wait at the edge of their seats to see what all the various parts and equipment will build.

“Sheet Metal”

The Saturn Company continues to market itself as a company committed to the people who will drive their products. In 2002, Saturn let consumers know that they design their cars for the people who sit behind the wheel. This ad features a community of people walking and jogging down streets and throughout a city acting as though they were cars. “Sheet Metal” hooks you as soon as a man “pulls out of his driveway” to go to work.

“Snow Covered”

This Jeep ad from 1994 opens on what appears to be a barren, snow-covered wasteland. Soon, a large lump makes its way under the snow without breaking the surface. It leaves a large trail of disturbed snow behind it, but viewers have no clue what it is supposed to be. Eventually, it stops at a snow-buried stop sign. The Jeep logo appears, and that’s when you realize that the lump is a Jeep. The Jeep commercial is free of voice-overs, but it powerfully conveys the message that a Jeep is a durable vehicle that can handle even the worst weather.

Our selection highlights some of what makes a car commercial exceptional. They catch your attention and keep it all the way until the end. They avoid boring cliches such as cars driving down winding roads or on city streets. They convey a message about the car or the company behind it that goes beyond “just buy one already!” Finally, they arouse the desire to actually make a purchase even though the ad didn’t outright tell you to. The next time you shop for a new or used car, take a trip down memory lane first. What commercials have stood out to you in the past? You just might find that now is the time to satisfy that long-delayed desire to park a new car in your garage.