Ten Worst Car Commercials Of All Time

Illustration for article titled Ten Worst Car Commercials Of All Time

Curious why automakers are struggling? Look no further than these ten terrible car commercials. Celine Dion, suicidal robots, and contagious catchphrases combine to make us want to never buy another new car again.


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10.) Celine Dion Destroys Cities In Her Dodge Colt

Not even musical superstar Celine Dion, seen here in full-on 1980s dance mode, could make the Dodge Colt appealing to a mass audience. In fact, Celine Dion may have made things worse by convincing people they'd scare people away and randomly set fire to parking meters if they purchased one. "Run for your lives! Celine Dion is driving another Chrysler product!"

9.) Susan Lucci's Ford Windstar Star Trek Ripoff

Is All My Children actress Susan Lucci really the best choice to be selling a family van? While it's true she's part of a family, they've had some bizarre things happen to them. Perhaps this concern explains why, for no apparent reason, Susan Lucci is playing a thinly disguised character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since they didn't secure the rights to Star Trek she doesn't get "beamed up" but rather beamed into some sort of strange space above the vehicle just a few feet away.

8.) Jeep's Engineers Kidnapped And Taken To Woods


Chrysler hoped, in vain, a series of minor upgrades to their unpopular models would mean enough sales to prevent them from going under. It didn't work. This ad doesn't work either. Though it's trying to show off how Chrysler engineers are listening, it instead comes off like the company's engineers are so dumb they required a complicated and somewhat creepy trip to the woods to make the connection.

7.) Triumph Wants You To Drive Slowly


Triumph gained a bit of a reputation for poor performance, poor handling, and poor quality in this country. This advertisement for the Triumph Spitfire is meant to be "clever" but instead reminds us of all the problems the car faced. We've watched this commercial many times and have yet to fully ascertain the meaning. Perhaps there was a mistranslation from English to English? Talk about being divided by a common language...

6. )Toby Keith Is A Working Man


Every time country music star Toby Keith touches a Ford truck he has an Amerigasm. Most of the Keith + Ford commercials are light-hearted fun, but this "Working Man" commercial puts the musician into the role of a modern day blue collar worker who, perplexingly, is a one-man construction team. We imagine he probably scared the rest of his crew away by randomly breaking out the guitar and jumping on equipment. Given Keith's wealth and spectacular grooming we don't buy the Willie Loman act.

5.) Renault-AMC Is So Excited!


Before Renault went off to buy Nissan and AMC merged with Chrysler, they briefly tried to sell their own cars in America. And to sell cars in America in the 1980s you better have The Pointer Sisters singing "I'm So Excited." Unfortunately, the product wasn't quite as exciting as the song. Sure, there's a Jeep driving off road, women flashdancing, and 80s yuppies laughing but it doesn't work for all vehicles. Why is the woman leaning all the way back in that Alliance? Why do they all live in a ghost town? Why do they show the same video of a Jeep Wagoneer twice? I'm so.. I'm so... scared.

4.)GM Robot Suicide


This ad, which aired during the Super Bowl, was so bad GM quickly released an edited version and tried to purge the original from our memories. But we remembered. In this commercial a friendly, WALL*Esque robot accidentally drops a screw and is treated like an outcast, sent to live on the streets. After a series of odd jobs the robot decides to jump off a bridge. Given how many people GM had to "let go" and the glib portrayal of suicide, it was a massively stupid thing to do before an audience as large as they one they got during the Super Bowl

3.) Black Gold Datsun!


Hey, remember the 1970s? We wish we didn't either after seeing this commercial for the Black Gold Edition Datsun 280ZX. We're fairly sure this concept was dreamed up in the back room of Studio 54 after a long night of enjoying black tar heroine and goldschläger. Why is everyone so sweaty? What's with the huge porn-stache? Why can't we stop watching it?

2.) Toyota "Saved By Zero" Ad


Toyota deserves an award for alienating the most people possible in 30 seconds without the use of politics, violence, sex, or profanity. At the center of this commercial is the chorus from the song "Saved By Zero" by the band The Fixx. Unfortunately, Toyota used only this ad for a major blitz and it was therefore possible to watch TV during certain sporting events and see it at almost every commercial break. It was so bad a number of people launched online petitions to "make it stop!"

1.) 1980s Plymouth Duster Spandex Nightmare


If you haven't noticed by now, the 1980s is the best decade for the worst car commercials. We can't imagine how expensive this ad was to produce, but it's like a German surrealist film combined with a Cyndi Lauper video to create what we imagine is the closest approximation of one of Prince's nightmares ever put to celluloid. Men in jorts with suspenders, unitards, bad 80's hair, and a chorus that's more infectious than the Ebola virus combine to seriously freak us out.


Frank Grimes

If I was in the market for a car when the My Duster commercial aired I would have bought it. Of course I was 3 years old but still even today I would go for it.

I like it because it is just honest it isn't trying to compare itself to anything just hot 80's babes and flips and smoke machines and driving through glass!

Heck of a lot better than those stupid Seinfeld ads trying to sell me a hybrid.