Some of the greatest car ads and commercials of the last 50 years


Print, digital and TV adverts that sell

The car manufacturers advertising battle commenced during the 1950’s and 60’s and has since become an entertaining business for the public. From early print copy ads to the digital excellence of TV and online video commercials, manufacturers like Audi, BMW, VW, Mini and Honda have all had their turns at creating ‘live in the memory’ ads that amuse us, compel us and ultimately move us to buy their cars.

I’ve put together a small collection of the best car adverts of all time. Take a look at traditional, well-crafted print ads from the 1960’s right up to technical genius TV car commercials that I’ve combined into one five-minute video for your enjoyment.

In their own right, these advertisements score high, so they are in no particular order.

#1 – Daihatsu ‘Preferable to a Lamborghini?’

Daihatsu people carrier car advert

Source Daihatsu

Daihatsu uses a clever play on words to attract their core markets, 28-40-year-old men.

#2 – Ford Reports Some Sad News

Source Ford

How can they use the beautiful MK 1 Ford Escort as a Police car?

#3 – Jaguar Eats BMW for Breakfast

Jaguar tell us how they are superior to BMW

Source Jaguar

A clever use of food to depict the logo of BMW as fodder for the animal engine of Jaguar.

#4 – BMW Get Their Own Back on Jag

ad depicting that BMW are superior to Jaguar

Source BMW
This Jaguar does a 180.

#5 – Yes, the VW Beetle Has Its Limitations

classic VW Beetle print ad with basketball player

Source Volkswagen

Reverse psychology as VW demonstrates that the classic VW Beetle won’t suit everyone. Luckily for them, most of us aren’t 7ft tall basketball players. But they probably knew that, didn’t they?

#6 – Volkswagen Introduce Rear Parking Sensors!


Source Volkswagen

This intelligent ad suggests that bumping your VW into another car when parking would be a fatal mistake and one that they can help you avoid. The ad tells us a VW is as valuable as life itself. Sadly not.

#7 – Triumph Dolomite’s are Fast

classic Dolomite print ad image

Source Retro-Motoring

This messaging in this ad is a Triumph and appeals to any speed hungry male aged from fifteen to fifty.

#8 – Classic Mini’s are Small, Fast and Not For the Faint Hearted

classic mini print ad about speed and fun

Source Mini

The classic Mini is my all time favourite car so I had to include at least one of their timeless ads.

#9 – Controversy From Land Rover Range Rover

controversial print and bill board ad from Land Rover

Source Land Rover

This print ad kicked up quite a fuss and drew a lot of additional attention to Range Rover who are currently enjoying record sales and profits. Not bad.

#10 – Fiat Use Economy to Sell the Strada

Fiat car economy print copy advert

Source Fiat

During the 1980’s this Fiat car ad was hugely successful and helped promote Fiat further into the mainstream marketplace.

#11 – Porsche and Manhood

if you've got a small penis you need a Porsche 911 copy print ad

Source Porsche

One of the best car adverts of all time. Here, Porsche tap into the psychology of men using subtle humour and direct language. The Porsche 911 was already iconic but this print copy ad helped solidify its position as a leading Sports Car.

If the best print car adverts aren’t enough to quench your thirst check out my mash of four great TV car advertisements from the last 20 years.


If you have your own favourites feel free to send them to me and I’ll publish here. If you loved this article please hit the share button.

The Used Car Guy

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