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May 31, 2017 // 10:52 AM

The Top 10 Best Automotive Ads

Written by Danielle Yannotti



What do the best automotive ads have in common?  

If you think the most popular auto commercials all feature sleek, expensive high-end cars, you would be wrong. Sure, luxury car commercials often generate high numbers of online views, but it’s not just the cars themselves that make the commercials popular. In fact, there are auto ads featuring “everyday cars” that capture and engage viewers.

So what’s the secret to making an effective auto ad?


It’s simple: The most popular auto commercials trigger our emotions!


Whether they make us smile, laugh, or cry, they all feature relatable stories that connect with us on an emotional level. This is SUPER important for auto advertisers because 80% of consumer decisions are based on emotions.

How can you make sure your ads emotionally connect with your audience?

Test them!

One of the best ways to see how viewers emotionally respond to your ads is to test them using emotion analytics. Dumbstruck is an ad testing and analytics platform that allows users to see how viewers respond to video ads before running a campaign. 


Dumbstruck recently conducted a video study examining how voiceover style affects how viewers emotionally respond to automotive commercials. The results showed that voiceover style had a significant impact on whether viewers liked or disliked the commercial.


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10 best automotive ads of all time


All of the commercials on this list do an outstanding job of tapping into human emotions, and they do this by highlighting the essential role cars play in our lives. We are emotionally attached to our cars because they are an important part of our daily lives, and thus part of our memories as well as our future aspirations and dreams.
From cats sliding down the windshield to a child dressed as Darth Vader, these are 10 of the best automotive ads ever made. 
10. Mercedes-Benz CLA Cat Advert (2014)

Mercedes finds a unique way to appeal to cat lovers and to bring attention to the aerodynamics of the Benz CLA in this fun and humorous ad.
9. Volkswagen "Like" (2006)
This Volkswagen ad shocks the viewer by showing an accident in real time and showcases the safety of the car.  Sticks in your head.
8. Honda Pilot "Raised by Wolves" (2004)



A Honda Pilot commercial in which a guy raised by wolves, tries to keep a normal job and maintain a healthy family life. Combines humor while also showcasing the outdoor qualities of the Pilot.  
7. Volkswagen "Big Day" (2001)



How far will you go for love? The guy in this commercial goes so far as to barge in on the wedding of the woman he loves before she can exchange vows.  Of course, it goes without saying he wouldn’t have gotten to the church in time without the Volkswagen Jetta VR 6.
6. Mercedes-Benz "Not in this Weather" (1998)



It doesn’t get any more risky or daring than this Mercedes-Benz ad that highlights both infidelity and its 4matic all-wheel-drive system. “Not in this weather” indeed.
5. Audi "Old Guard" (2009)

Audi R8 commercial in which the famous Godfather horse head scene is reenacted. It’s a warning to the “old guard” that Audi is making you an offer you can’t refuse.
4. Honda "The Cog" (2003)


A genius ad that shows a chain of car parts colliding and coming together to create a seventh generation Honda. This commercial never gets old and has inspired countless ads over the last fourteen years.
3. Volkswagen "The Force" (2011)



A commercial that revolutionized Superbowl ads, featuring a young kid dressed as Darth Vader trying to use the Dark Side on everything in his home including the dog and the family.
2. Chrysler Eminem Super Bowl Commercial- "Imported From Detroit" (2011)

An amazing ad that perfectly captures the struggle and the beauty of a city that’s been to hell and back….


1. Audi R8 Superbowl Commercial "Commander" (2016)


An emotionally inspiring ad that shows an old man suffering severe memory loss associating driving an Audi with his earlier days as an astronaut. Add rocket footage and David Bowie’s “Star Man” to the mix and you have the best car ad of all time.


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Topics: Emotions in Ads, automtoive ads