Top 10 auto ads of the past 25 years

The Car Connection


The auto industry spends billions of dollars each year on TV ads, but few are worth remembering. In fact, there are many we'd rather forget.

Thankfully, at least one organization is keeping tabs on all those commercials, and during this week's Detroit Auto Show, it revealed its list of the ten best auto ads of the past 25 years.

The organization in question is called The One Club. According to its website, The One Club's mission is "to champion and promote excellence in advertising and design in all its forms. It is the world's foremost non-profit organization devoted to elevating creative work in the industry. It seeks to celebrate the legacy of creative advertising and to use that legacy to inspire future generations. The One Club is the 'keeper of the flame' for advertising creatives."

To select its top ten ads, The One Club enlisted the aid of more than 70 ad executives and journalists. Among that number were very heavy-hitters from firms like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Leo Burnett Worldwide, and The Martin Agency.

When all the votes had been counted, Honda walked away with top honors for its psychedelic "Grrr" ad, touting Honda's i-CTDi diesel engine. (Fun fact: the ad is narrated by Garrison Keillor.) Honda also nabbed the #2 spot for its Rube-Goldberg-inspired ad promoting the European Honda Accord (also voiced by Keillor), which is the Acura TSX stateside.

The One Club also recognized last year's "Camry Reinvented" ad, which was chosen by over 7,000 internet voters as the "public choice" winner.


10. "Snow Covered" - Bozell Worldwide/Southfield and Chrysler/Jeep - 1994



9. "Milky Way" - Arnold Worldwide/Boston and Volkswagen -1999


8. "Lamp Post" - BMP DDB/London and Volkswagen - 1998


7. "Toys" - TBWAChiatDay/Los Angeles and Nissan - 1997



6. "Born of Fire" - Wieden+Kennedy/Portland and Chrysler - 2011
5. "Sheet Metal" - Goodby, Silverstein & Partners/San Francisco and Saturn - 2002



4. "The Hire: Star" - Fallon/Minneapolis and BMW - 2001 ("The Hire" was an ongoing series from BMW)




3. "The Force" - Deutsch/Los Angeles and Volkswagen - 2011




2. "Cog" - Wieden+Kennedy/London and Honda - 2003




1. "Grrr" - Wieden+Kennedy/London and Honda - 2004

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