Revving Up Nostalgia

Unearthing the Best Automotive Advertisements of All Time

Let us showcase some of the most iconic automotive ad campaigns that have left a lasting impression on consumers. Exploring the most creative and innovative concepts used in automotive adverts – we watch on as the industry’s best marketing teams utilise storytelling, humour, emotions, and other elements to connect with their target audience effectively.

What do you think made these campaigns stand out?


Unconventional advertisements are often the most memorable and buzz-worthy, making them every marketer’s dream.

Audi certainly hit it out of the park with this advert! Accompanied by dramatic music and a sci-fi aesthetic, the R8’s V10 engine roars as the supercar stretches and morphs, eventually giving birth to the Audi RS3 Sportback, the most recent member of the RS family at the time.


VW struck a chord with both children and adults when they captured their attention with the 2012 VW Passat advertising campaign.

In a charming scene, a young child dressed as Darth Vader humourously attempts to use ‘the force’ to move various objects around the family home, including a rather unimpressed pet dog, but to no avail. Demonstrating the Passat’s latest feature, Dad playfully allows mini-Darth Vader to believe his powers have successfully started the family car.


This very popular advert sees Honda featuring an intricate chain reaction of cogs, bearings, and other car parts, this masterpiece keeps you hooked as you wonder what’s going to happen next.

This highly acclaimed advertisement required two painstaking days to film the sequence, after many months of planning and testing. Even a tiny fraction of an inch misplacement in the object would halt the motion, requiring a restart.


Employing the immensely recognisable and memorable 1965 song ‘My Favourite Things’ by Julie Andrews as the soundtrack truly captivates audiences of all age groups.

Let’s be honest, who can resist cake? Observing these highly skilled bakers artfully assembling the cake is an absolute delight to behold.

The endearing advertisement played a significant role in dispelling misconceptions about the ŠKODA brand and elegantly displayed the artistry and skill that went into creating the car.


The Audi R8 is undoubtedly tailored for petrol heads, designed without apologies.

Its speed, roaring engine, and undeniable beauty make it stand out. What better approach to promote it than by placing it on a rolling road and revving it to the extreme?

Mission accomplished.


In this timeless 1987 car advertisement, model Paula Hamilton takes centre stage, directed by none other than David Bailey, the renowned fashion photographer who first discovered her.

The film depicts her leaving her husband in a poignant manner, resembling Princess Diana, as she sends her wedding ring back through the door. With the benefit of hindsight, the advert encapsulated what everyone else was already pondering at the time.
While strolling, she discards all her luxuries, from the pearl necklace to the fur coat. Yet, she holds onto the keys to the Volkswagen Golf, prompting the voiceover to reflect: “If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen”.


This refined Lexus commercial places simplicity in the spotlight. The mesmerising footage features Tamara Rojo, the prima ballerina of the English National Ballet, executing graceful pirouettes and leaps, seamlessly intertwined with captivating shots of the IS.

Yet, the most remarkable contrast lies in the soundtrack. Instead of classical music, the lively and vibrant bassline originates from Stephen Kozmeniuk’s track titled “Step Up.”


This brilliant car advertisement commences with a pair of hands and a lone nut. The voiceover declares, “Let’s witness what curiosity can achieve.” The hands skillfully twist and turn, transforming the nut into an engine, and the engine into a motorbike.

Continuing from there, the video showcases Honda’s incredible history of engineering, where the nut seamlessly transforms into a myriad of products, including bikes, boats, planes, lawnmowers, rally cars, and robots. And let’s not overlook the striking Honda Civic and Jazz cars, which also make a captivating appearance.


During Super Bowl 45 in 2011, Audi showcased the “Old Luxury” ad. The commercial featured a man who grew tired of traditional luxury and was enticed by Audi’s futuristic A8 as the embodiment of modern luxury.

The ad conveyed Audi’s commitment to redefining luxury for forward-thinking individuals. It received favourable responses and enhanced Audi’s brand visibility during the high-profile Super Bowl broadcast.

Some of the world’s most popular car brands have been showcased above – alongside their respective talented marketing teams.

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