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Analysing Adverts: A breakdown of some of the top car adverts

Analysing Adverts: A breakdown of some of the top car adverts

13th October 2016

Don’t you get bored of seeing the same sort of adverts over and over on TV? We are bombarded with so many video adverts nowadays that they all just blend into one. So what makes an advert successful? We looked at 10 standard car adverts and scored them out of 5 on different aspects.

Creativity: How creative was the advert?

Originality: Is it something you’ve never seen before?

Memorability: Could you remember the advert without needing to watch it again?

Brand recognition: How easily can you work out what brand the advert is for and does the advert reflect the brands values?



1 – Honda Accord: The Cog

Launched in 2003, the ‘Cog’ advert promoted the new Honda Accord. It was a £6 million marketing campaign that used all of the car’s components in a cleverly constructed domino-type video. The advert itself was produced on a budget of £1 million and was directed over 7 months to produce a 120-second advert that was first broadcast on British television in April 2003. The campaign was very successful both critically and financially. It is one of the most carefully-thought and planned car adverts I have seen.  The style of the advert is very much in keeping with the Honda brand, which makes it easy for viewers to associate it with Honda, before even seeing the Honda logo.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5       Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 5



2 – Citroen C4: Transformers

Launched in 2007, this advert shows a car ‘transforming’ into a dancing robot. The advert was launched at the same time as the 2007 Transformers film – coincidence? I’m not so sure. The motion graphics used to make this advert is very clever, it does look like a real car dancing, however, for me, the advert is memorable for all the wrong reasons. It’s remembered for the dancing robot, not the car the advert is promoting, which is kind of the point of an advert – to advertise something. Unless they are trying to sell cars that are actually robots?

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 4        Originality: 3.5      Memorability: 3       Brand recognition: 2



3 – Škoda Fabia: The Cake

‘Cake’ was a delicious television advert launched in 2007 by the car company Škoda, to promote the new generation of Fabia supermini cars in the UK. The scrummy cake advert was critical, popular and a financial success and was credited for the vast improvements in public opinion and awareness of the brand, and received honours from a number of advertising festivals and awards ceremonies. It is an easily recognisable and rememberable advert and must of been a baking challenge for the ingenious bakers and sugar-crafters who created the cake. 

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5      Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 3



4 – Toyota GT 86: The Real Deal

Toyota GT86’s new controversial advert was  launched in 2012, was set in an animated virtual world, showing a man speeding through streets towards the real world. It is the ultimate ‘bloke’ advert; a bachelor lifestyle, video game reality and most importantly a red sports car. The advert has a very small target audience indeed, suggesting that it isn’t this car isn’t for women or the older generation. It also lacks creativity as CGI is so common nowadays, it’s almost part of our everyday viewing at the cinema and in games. Creativity and originality were definitely used to create the storyline, but it lacks any recognition of the Toyota brand, until the end of the advert. It was also later cut from our TV screens for promoting the idea that speeding through city streets is acceptable.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 4        Originality: 4      Memorability: 3       Brand recognition: 3



5 – Vauxhall: Little Dads

One of my favourite car adverts. In 2009  Vauxhall launched it’s Little Dad’s advert, promoting the family car brand. This joyous advert suits the Vauxhall brand extremely well. It is a light-hearted and family friendly advert that uses to spectacularly funny young actors portraying typical Dads. It is a make-you-smile advert 🙂 It is a very creative and original advert that sells the family cars well.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5      Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 5



6 – Honda: Hands

This advert is another typical Honda branded advert. It is an intuitive advert and shows the full range of the Honda brand, from motorbikes to robots. The transitions from one object to another is so smooth and clever it could be nothing else other than a Honda advert.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5      Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 5



7 – Peugeot: The Sculptor

This is an older advert that Peugeot created in 2004 that shows a man obsessed with the new Peugeot 206. The advert has a man goes about re-assembling his own car to look like it. It is an amusing advert that makes us smile, but does nothing more. It isn’t a typical advert for the brand and is only promoting the shape and style of the car and nothing more. However it does make you smile at the end with the eccentric head-bopping dancing!

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 3        Originality: 4      Memorability: 4       Brand recognition: 2



8 – Mercedes Benz: Chicken

This advert featuring a chicken is not your typical Mercedes Benz advert. It is a one-off feature advert promoting the stability of the suspension on a Mercedes using a chicken to demonstrate how smooth their suspension is. I’m not sure comparing a Benz to a chicken was a good idea – their cars are more like elegant swans than chickens! In response to the Mercedes chicken commercial, Jaguar brought out their own witty chicken advert with a Jaguar cat eating the chicken, contiuning their ongoing battle to be the best luxury car brand.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 4.5        Originality: 4      Memorability: 4       Brand recognition: 3



9 – Audi RS3: Birth

One of most clever but disturbing adverts from Audi yet. Audi get top marks for originality for this advert, but I’m not sure it’s for the right reasons. It’s a concept that hasn’t be done before for a car advert, and probably should of stayed that way, it’s definitely not an advert for the kids. It gives the impression of robots re-generating to take over the world!


Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5      Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 5



10 – Honda: Choir

Another typical Honda advert; creative, unique and memorable. First shown on TV and the web in 2006, this advert shows a choir performing the sounds of the new Honda Civic.  Although idea behind the advert is inventive,  the noises the choir make don’t really make sound like a car you would want to own.  It’s an advert that sells the brand of Honda, rather than the specific car shown on the advert.

Marks out of 5:

Creativity: 5        Originality: 5      Memorability: 5       Brand recognition: 5