While cars are a part of the cultural fabric of America, it’s no easy task selling one, whether it’s in person, online, or through a commercial. Next to real estate, it’s one of the most expensive purchases regular people make, so the message has to be delivered just so. There’s price to consider, of course. For ad creators, there are demanding clients (who probably came up in the car world, not the creative world) to please—and dealers. There are features that need to be sold, while recognizing that a car is an emotional purchase, so a brand persona must be carefully crafted. All in all, a high difficulty level—which is why, for many years, a lot of car advertising was a forgettable melange of sheet metal and mountain roads—and which is why it’s a remarkable feat to make a car ad that really looks or says something new.
Now, the makers of the best of these ads are being recognized for their efforts.
This week, at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, advertising organization The One Club announced the top 10 automobile commercials from the past 25 years. More than 70 advertising creatives and journalists chose the winners from a crop that included over 60 award-winning entries.
Among the judges: Jeff Goodby of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Andy Azula of The Martin Agency, and advertising legend George Lois. In addition to the top 10 ads, the public choice winner was Saatchi and Saatchi Los Angeles’ 2012 "Camry Reinvented" commercial for Toyota, as voted on by 7,000 fans on The One Club website.
Watch the 10 best automobile ads in the slide show above.