We love cars and we love the Super Bowl. It stands to reason we especially love Super Bowl car commercials. Below is our list of the 11 best Super Bowl car commercials of all time.
Vehicle: Plymouth Neon
Year: Super Bowl XXVIII (1994)
Why It Rocks: There's rarely been so large, dramatic and expensive a build up to an ultimately tiny, uninspiring and cheap car. Chrysler flooded the air with these commercials in the build up to the car's reveal, building excitement which quickly failed when people actually drove one.
Vehicle: Cadillac Escalade EXT
Year: Super Bowl XL (2006)
Why It Rocks: It wasn't exactly clear why someone would need a luxury SUV capable of turning into a luxury truck until they saw this commercial. While parking another car in your trunk isn't something you're likely to experience every day it's clearly pretty awesome.
Vehicle: Nissan Maxima
Year: Super Bowl XXXI (1997)
Why It Rocks: Nissan is truly the master of the Super Bowl TV spot and the "Pigeons" spoof is a great example of the company putting out simple, hilarious and compelling narrative spots. The concept is completely relatable, the animation is hilarious and it makes the Maxima look great.
Year: Super Bowl (2007)
Why It Rocks: The concept of an assembly robot being thrown out by GM, forced into a meaningless existence and eventually committing suicide, even in a dream, is fairly bleak. This is especially troublesome given how many people GM would soon layoff. Still, the ad generated a lot of controversy and free advertising for the company.
Vehicle: Nissan Hardbody Truck
Year: Super Bowl XX (1986)
Why It Rocks: When you've got a truck called the "hardbody" there's not a lot you need to do to be suggestive. This didn't stop Nissan from making an eyebrow-raising Village People ad. Look at the shot they use when they say "biggest cargo box" and try not to giggle.
Vehicle: Cadillac CTS
Year: Super Bowl XLII (2008)
Why It Rocks: In an advertisement now part of our cultural history, Kate Walsh asks viewers if their car gets them all hot and bothered. Her voice is so deep it almost becomes androgynous but, we suspect, some may like it all the better.
Vehicle: Honda Pilot
Year: Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004)
Why It Rocks: Most car ads are about the car and not the driver, which makes this commercial for the Honda Pilot stand out. Rather than merely showing their car in the woods, they showed a driver who belonged in a woods. Actor Scott Adsit pulls off the benign wolf man perfectly. Hornberger!
Vehicle: Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
Year: Super Bowl XXIV (1991)
Why It Rocks: Directed by Ridley Scott, this commercial is almost as good as Blade Runner and arguably better than Gladiator. The camera work, the voice over and the concept all stand the test of time, though the video was only aired once.
Vehicle: Volkswagen Jetta VR6
Year: Super Bowl XXXV (2001)
Why It Rocks: Perhaps the most beautiful Super Bowl car advertisement ever, the commercial builds the excitement without saying a word. If there's one thing that works better than the dramatic song, it's the dramatic twist at the end.
Vehicle: Audi R8
Year: Super Bowl XLII (2008)
Why It Rocks: Audi decides to take out the competition in an ad spoofing the decapitated horse scene in The Godfather. The commercial caused quite a stir. But that's to be expected with an advertisement so exceedingly clever.
Vehicle: Nissan 300ZX Turbo
Year: Super Bowl XXIX (1995)
Why It Rocks: This ad, depicting a G.I. Joe-esque character picking up a Barbie-esque character, was so good Mattel sued to take it off the air. The score's a cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" by Van Halen and the stop-motion animation is perfect. It's not only the best car commercial to ever air during the Super Bowl, it's one of the best car commercials ever. Period.
We'll obviously be covering all the ads this upcoming weekend, so remember to bookmark the Super Bowl Ad Watch tag to watch our big game car commercials as they happen.
[For video of nearly every Super Bowl ad ever check out Commercial-Archive.com]