The Ten Most Ridiculous Car Ad Campaigns

Without visual ads, when would companies ever get the opportunity to torture and confuse consumers with viral memes, has-been celebrities, and unreasonably amusing car choreography?


10.) Yugo- “One Lap Of America”

When thinking of reliable, versatile, off-road worthy cars, the Yugo does not come to mind. In this ad, Yugo’s marketing team will try and change that for you. It’s a good attempt! But a strange one, nonetheless.

Suggested By: Chariotoflove

9.) Pontiac- “Wider Is Better”

I wonder which PR genius at GM thought up this one. Yes, a wider track on a car will usually help the car handle a little better, but it’s not exactly the be-all and end-all of performance.


Saying wider is better is like saying “my Hummer H1 will annihilate your Mini Cooper on track.” or “my Hummer H1 is a great city car” I can assure you neither of those are correct.


Suggested By: toomuchcommuting

8.) Ford- “Our New Car Is Basically A Mercedes-Benz”

Illustration for article titled The Ten Most Ridiculous Car Ad Campaigns

In this Ford ad from the late ‘70s for the Granada ESS, Ford directly advertised how their designers stole designs from another automaker. It’s great that the car kind looks more upscale, but apparently Ford forgot about pride that comes with innovation and being unique.

Suggested By: sm70, Photo Credit: Ford

7.) Fiat- “Endless Fun”

All the molly cigarettes in the world couldn’t line my brain up with what was going through the minds of the creators of this ad campaign. I hope they don’t actually feel like the Gen-Z kids and Millenials are solely attracted to mindless and thoughtless memes.


Suggested By: LostMyOldPasswordAgain

6.) Datsun- “Black Gold”

“Black gooooollldddd.” Welcome to the ‘80s, my friends. Thick mustaches, dramatic close-up facial shots, two-tone paints. It’s so ridiculous that transitions from terrible to amazing.


Let me also offer my sincere apologies because I know most of you will now be cursed to singing the background jingle for the rest of the day.


Suggested By: DennyCraneDennyCraneDennyCrane

5.) Toyota- “Wanted New Celica”

Here’s a personal favorite of mine. Watching Eddie Murphy’s “Wanted New Celica” ad campaign leaves me with so many questions. “New York is almost as popular as I am?” What? But also, yes.


I will say, Eddie does know how to really amp me up about dual-mode four-wheel steering and the “10-speaker super-live sound system.” Maybe Toyota should think about bringing him back for a Scion FR-S ad. This is really what the youths need. Fiat, you guys should be taking notes here as well.

Suggested By: eloxley

4.) Toyota- “Swagger Wagon”

Sorry Toyota, but aside from shit-stirring and getting people talking about this ad for all the wrong reasons, it was a complete mess. Who’s the market audience? Boring white upper-middle class suburban families who strive to be slightly more hip and modern to impress their kids and neighbors? Also, uh, Busta Rhymes, god knows where they pulled him out of. This is one ad I wish could be hidden for the rest of eternity.


Suggested By: TheHondaBro

3.) Chevrolet- “WiFi In Cars: Woodchipper”

Even if their phones were actually thrown into the woodchipper, wouldn’t these so-called “not actors” want to use their phones in connection with the 4G LTE provided by the Chevy Cruze that’s being advertised? Also, if my phone was just turned into grounded up pieces of metal, I would be furious, not super mellow like these guys.


Suggested By: AMGFTW

2.) Nissan Frontier

Let’s admire how much effort Nissan put into this ad to make it look realistic. Fake news interviews, CGI looking “news” clips, crappy emergency vehicle b-roll, and at some point in the video, it even says “actual witness video!” Thankfully they seemed to have learned their lesson after the Federal Trade Commission basically told them to “cut it out.”


Suggested By: Jcarr

1.) Isuzu Gemini

If only more automakers had paid attention to this amazingly ridiculous ad. Slow-mo jumps, formation driving, slalom maneuvering, it’s like a beautiful ballet of uninteresting “Japanese” economy cars. And it’s all real! None of that CGI crap. I could watch this all day long.


Suggested By: As Du Volant

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Alex Nelson/Toyota via Youtube


I’ll just leave this here....