The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time.Want to advertise during the Super Bowl broadcast? Forget it. CBS has sold all of its 30-second slots at an average price of about $3.8 million each. That’s a record price, and a lot of the buyers are car companies.
The Super Bowl usually attracts the largest TV audience of the year. Last year the TV audience peaked at around 116 million viewers during Madonna’s halftime show. And the commercials are now as much a part of the annual Super Bowl ritual as the family-size bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.
Since the Super Bowl commercial time is so expensive, advertisers spare no expense in the production of their commercials. These are our favorite Super Bowl car ads over the last five decades.
They are the 5 best Super Bowl car commercials of all time.
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time 5. Audi R8 “Godfather” (2008) — Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made and it’s full of indelible, iconic images. None of those images is more shocking than movie mogul Jack Woltz waking up in his bed to find himself covered in blood, with the head of his $600,000 stallion Khartoum at his feet. Actor John Marley, who played Woltz, screams an utterly chilling scream.
Audi decided to re-create that scene 36 years later down to the sheen of the bed sheets. Only this time, the unnamed mogul wakes to find himself covered in oil, with the grille of his traditional luxury car at the bed’s edge. Actor Alex Rocco (who was Moe Greene in The Godfather) can’t scream as well as the late Marley did, but he’s pretty good.
The tag line for this, played over an R8 ripping away from the mogul’s mansion is, “Old luxury just got put on notice.” So that explains Audi’s rise since this commercial: strong arm intimidation.
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time 4. Plymouth Road Runner (1969) — This one aired during the broadcast of Super Bowl III way back in 1969. That’s back when most everyone thought the Super Bowl was just another football game. But this is the Super Bowl in which Joe Namath and the New York Jets changed that overnight. Suddenly, after the Jets’ upset win over the Baltimore Colts, the Super Bowl was an event.
This commercial is an ambitious one by 1969 standards, furtively mixing animation and live action. It’s a minute long and shots of the actual Plymouth Road Runner run sort of like a commercial within a surrounding Warner Bros. Road Runner cartoon. That was enough to make it memorable: the first Super Bowl car commercial anyone can recall.
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time 3. Chrysler “Imported From Detroit” (2011) — How does a car company go about reestablishing itself as relevant in the second decade of the 21st century? It makes a tough, determined short film and brings a gospel choir and Detroit native rapper Eminem in to cap it at the end.
But does anyone really believe Marshall Mathers actually drives a Chrysler 200?
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time 2. Jeep “Snow” (1995) — While straightforward sales pitches are rare in Super Bowl car ads, at least most of them actually show a vehicle. This one not only avoids showing a complete vehicle, it doesn’t mention any particular vehicle at all. It’s kind of brilliant that way.
In fact, it was so brilliant that this ad won the Grand Prix award at the 1994 International Advertising Film Festival in Cannes, France. That’s probably like really prestigious, even though no one around here has ever heard of it.
The 5 Best Super Bowl Car Commercials of All Time 1. Audi A6 “Through the Decades” (2009) — Audi takes full advantage of its extensive product placement budget (including providing cars to the sequels in The Transporter movie series) by putting Jason Statham through car chases in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s before he gets an A6 for the contemporary conflict.
The detail in this short film is what makes it so satisfying. Take a look at the cars in the background of each scene. They’re all perfectly cast. Look out for the clichés as the cars hit every one of them. It’s all very specific and very well shot.
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