Automotive Icons: Lessons from Car Ads

Market Approach Serving Your Client


Video advertisements are a terrific method to spark attention, increase sales, and spread brand knowledge, so it makes sense that the car sector has been utilizing television advertising for decades. Commercials are an entertaining approach to marketing when amusing taglines, catchy jingles, and distinctive characters are added.



Even after an advertisement has been pulled off the air, it might linger in your memory for years or even decades. Eight of the most recognizable auto advertisements have been gathered, along with ideas from them that you might be able to use in your dealership’s marketing plan.



Who wants to drive a car they detest? Buying an automobile is a decision that involves both logic and passion. This Volkswagen commercial is a fantastic illustration of how appealing to viewers’ emotions can engage them. Viewers may see a child’s surprise thanks to the father’s remote start key function, which shows how well a balance of logic and emotional appeal can improve the impact of your messaging.



Advice: Customers prefer to do business with companies that are made up of people just like them. Do the communications from your dealership to customers feel generic, or do they evoke genuine feelings? To establish a connection with your audience, add some personalization.


Particularly in a sector where your product doesn’t stand out greatly from those of your competitors, your messaging is crucial. This 1980s Toyota commercial sticks out not because of any particularly catchy statements or taglines, but rather because of how it conveys sincerity. Toyota demonstrates that its claim to be “turning the truck world upside down” is more than just an empty slogan by building an entire town full of upside-down vehicles.



Advice: Buzzwords and clichés abound in the marketing world, and if you’re not careful, many of them could make your marketing look pointless. Showing people why you’re the best is preferable to telling them (like all of your rivals do).


2010’s “Hamsters” Kia Soul When you complete your research, creativity can really help you stand out and become memorable. Kia became a little bit…funky? when the soul was introduced? This was an automobile for the urban individualist, as evidenced by its rapping hamsters zipping across the city and videos of other, less distinctive hamsters riding a regular toaster.


Advice: Hip-Hop Hamsters may be a touch over the top in most circumstances, but don’t be afraid to attempt something that no other dealerships are offering. Keep in mind who you are writing for, and don’t forget that, if done right, being brave can pay off handsomely.


– 1997 Nissan 300ZX, “Toy Cars”

This Nissan ad from the 1990s employs an intriguing kind of storytelling. The advertisement portrays a GI Joe-like character as he impresses the Barbie girl of his dreams by utilizing a sleek remote-control car rather than real people (or even an actual car).



Tip: People enjoy stories, even if they don’t directly relate to them. Making connections with potential consumers through the use of narrative strategies in your dealership’s marketing is a terrific way to pique their attention and ultimately inspire them to take action.


“What Do You Want in a Car” – 2006 Audi

This Audi commercial demonstrates the power of a concise, straightforward message. Making a car advertisement that doesn’t even feature a car is dangerous, but the straightforward message that the keys hanging from a set of nails deliver is simple enough for most people to comprehend.


Advice: Occasionally, less is more. To get people’s attention, your dealership doesn’t have to be the loudest. Keep it basic instead. Concentrate on communicating with the appropriate clients with the appropriate message.


1970 Pontiac GTO “The Humbler”

A person could be inspired to purchase a new car for a variety of reasons, including increased reliability, improved technology, or even to reflect changes in their lifestyle, such as receiving a promotion or expanding their family. This 1970 Pontiac advertisement is a famous illustration of how goods may be connected to individual preferences and lifestyles. As the main reason heads to the drive-through with his car (particularly the unique vacuum-powered exhaust system), viewers can feel his pride.



Advice: Customers can visit your dealership looking for a car with lots of styles but actually needing something else. Profit from leads by using demographic data, behavioral information, and customer history to make sure you’re recommending the appropriate vehicle to the right person.


2012 Chevrolet Camaro, “Happy Grad”

Use humor as often as possible in your marketing. This advertisement is ironic to the core since it contrasts what a fresh graduate sees as reality with expectations. And while the ad is notable enough for its humor, it’s also significant to remember that it was the winner of a Chevrolet-sponsored Super Bowl ad contest. It is therefore custom-made.


Advice: Asking your customers what they want will help keep the doors to your dealership open. Polls and competitions are fantastic ways to improve your customer interactions and learn more about what your customers want from you.


2004 Ford GT: “The One”

People are much more concerned with other things than how their cars will look, which is why test drives are available. When thinking about your marketing materials, it’s easy to default to the visual aspect of something, but this Ford commercial shows how lucrative it can be to appeal to other senses, like sound.



A helpful hint is to include video content, like YouTube ads, in your digital and print advertisements to engage audience members who might be less interested in reading what you have to say.



These auto advertisements, along with several others, provide evidence for the fact that people tend to remember valuable information. Marketers employ a wide range of strategies to set their products apart from the competition, and one of the greatest ways to pick up these tips is by looking at examples of when they’ve been effective. These auto advertisements are famous for a reason, and your dealership may be able to achieve the same success by adopting some of its marketing strategies.

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