With so much money at stake in the automobile industry, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that car manufacturers create some of the most enrapturing advertising campaigns. From time to time, it seems as though car companies go out of their way to one-up each other. And that makes sense, because at the end of the day, they’re all competing for a bigger chunk of the same pie.
Let’s cut to the chase and take a look at 10 of the best car marketing campaigns we’ve seen so far, in no particular order.
1. Volvo’s The Epic Split
You might have been wondering where Jean-Claude Van Damme has been for the best 10-odd years. Maybe you haven’t thought about the Belgian actor. In any case, late in 2013, Volvo released a spectacular video showcasing the car company’s precision steering.
With Enya’s “Only Time” in the background, Van Damme balances between two large trucks that are driving in reverse. They separate to the point where Van Damme is doing a split, with the trucks still driving. In less than a year, the video has racked up nearly 75 million views on YouTube. You can check it out right here.
2. Chevy Taps into Stunts
Seeking to shed its image as a company not associated with gas guzzlers, Chevy positioned its Sonic as a versatile car capable of doing the impossible. With a slew of well-crafted ads, including one that netted over 120 million views on YouTube, it’s safe to say the campaign worked.
3. BMW’s “Face City”
After uploading a picture of yourself, BMW’s campaign allowed customers to drive through virtual cities in a virtual sports car. Within the first month of the campaign launching, the site saw 300,000 visitors who created and shared 390 “face cities.”
4. Lexus Goes Mobile
Remember that app “Draw Something”? Maybe you still use it. A few years ago, Lexus hopped on the digital artistry bandwagon, integrating itself into the app. The goal was to attract interest from some younger customers. Trying something new and fun, it appears the campaign worked.
5. CJ Pony Parts’ Reveal of the 2015 Mustang
An American staple, the Mustang turns 50 this year. What better way to celebrate it then with a marketing campaign detailing the specs of the new model? CJ Pony Parts created the infographic at the bottom of this page and got their brand on Autoweek, TechFaster and Entrepreneur.
6. Audi Teams up with Ricky Gervais
When in doubt, stick to what you know works. Audi recently teamed up with the popular British comedian, Ricky Gervais, to sell a new entry-level car. It seems as though the car company did a good job of tying the star’s power to its more-affordable model.
7. You Don’t Have to Make a Deal with the Devil to Buy a Mercedes
Similarly to Audi, Mercedes partnered with well-known actor Willem Dafoe, supermodel Kate Upton, and music icon Usher to position the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class as affordable and attractive to younger buyers. The commercial, which aired during the Super Bowl, shows rather than having to make a deal with the Devil to score the Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, it’s now so reasonably priced you wouldn’t even have to.
8. Chrysler Tells the Story of the New Cherokee
Sometimes, all it takes is a good story. After disappearing from the American conscious for more than a decade, the Jeep Cherokee returned this year. Chrysler, Jeep’s parent company, stuck to the basics with an ad that barely showed the car at all. Somehow, it works.
9. Nissan Shows the Power of an Altima
When you think of a Nissan Altima, a fast, high-speed precision driving machine might not be the first thing that pops into your mind. Earlier this year, the Japanese car manufacturer dressed up its sedans to appear as racecars and took some non-suspecting, real people for test drives around a racetrack. Led to believe that they were in Nissan’s highest performing vehicles, the passengers were shocked to learn they were actually driving Altimas all along.
10. Nothing Like A Mini Cooper
As other car manufacturers scrambled to produce a vehicle to rival Mini Coopers, the pint-size car company launched an impressive campaign, showing customers that the company was indeed cut from a different fiber.
Of course this list is by no means exhaustive. Let us know what ads and campaigns you think were some of the best ever in the comments section below!
Editor’s Bonus: EPIC SPLIT FAIL.