The year 2013 was a great year for car commercials. Whether you bought the cars or not, these are the ads that you remembered. From Ron Burgundy channeling his inner car salesman to a gang of kids with superhuman strength to Kia’s hamsters getting in shape, there were plenty of car commercials that made a lasting impression. This year also saw some pretty amazing comeback performances. Take a look at the best car ads of 2013.
Kia’s Hamster commercial
The portly hamsters have been a staple of KIA’s marketing campaign. For the 2014 Kia Soul commercial, Kia’s furry friends are back. This time, they are seen getting into shape with Lady Gaga’s “Applause’’ playing in the background. Just in time for a few New Year’s resolutions.
Audi’s Leonard Nimoy vs. Zachary Quinto
Old goes head-to-head with new in Audi’s S7 commercial “The Challenge’’ starring two generations of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto. The pitch: the two make a bet that whoever makes it the golf club last has to buy the winner lunch. Quinto, who has the slick Audi S7 and all the impressive gadgets that come with it seems to have the advantage here. But wait until the end, Nimoy shows that even old-timers still have a trick or two up their sleeve.
Fiat 500 featuring Pit Bull
This ad starts with a boring day the beach — no, really! But all of a sudden, what happens to emerge from the ocean but a fleet of Fiat 500s.
But wait it gets better! Pit Bill is there too and he’s got Beats Audio in tow. Beach day saved!
Ron Burgundy and the Dodge Durgango
We all know that Ron Burgundy is a classy gent who knows the news. But who knew that his talents also lie in selling cars? Just ahead of the release of the “Anchorman’’ sequel, Will Farrell dons the mustache and red suit to tell audiences about the Dodge Durango’s HEMI V8 engine with 360 horsepower — and a glove box that can fit two tukey sandwiches or 70 packs of gum.
Honda Odyssey’s “Owner’s Manual’’
In this ad for the Honda Odyssey, a group of discarded items – an animal cracker, a crayon, a toy soldier, a gummy bear, a lolipop, and an unpopped popcorn seed – are reading the minivan’s owners manual. Unfortunately, the group falls victim to one of the car’s most impressive features, the built-in vaccuum.
Ram’s “Farmer’’ ad
At the Super Bowl XLVII, Dodge Ram ran a spot that featured radio broadcaster Paul Harvey’s “So God Made a Farmer’’ speech, which featured a series of photographs of American farmers toiling in the fields. Dodge partnered with the Future Farmers of America for the ad and agreed to donate $100,000 for every 1 million YouTube views the ad, up to $1 million.
The boys are back in town with this feel-good Super Bowl spot for the Hyundai Santa Fe. It begins with a gang of bigger kids taking a football from a smaller boy and daring him to come back when he has a team. The rest of the ad shows the smaller kid wrangling a team of boys who are capable of welding, wrestling bears, and carrying grown men out of burning buildings. When the opposing team asks if they want to play touch or tackle, the choice is pretty clear.
Jeep’s “Whole Again’’
Jeep’s official Super Bowl commercial features non other than Oprah Winfrey saying “There will be a seat left open, a light left on, a favorite dinner waiting. a warm bed made.’’ As the ad goes on, we see images of military families waiting for their loved ones in uniform to return home. The ad concludes with military service members embracing their loved ones and Winfrey stating, “We are a nation that is whole… again.’’
Pass the tissues, please!
In this delightful Super Bowl spot about the delicate balance between desire and luxurcy, patron at a coffee is watching an ad for the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class get plastered on a nearby billboard when a mysterious man played the oh-so appropriate Willem Dafoe appears with a seductive offer. “Make a deal with me kid and you can have the car and everything that goes with it.’’ The “everything’’ includes red carpet outings with Kate Upton, magazine covers, and dance-offs with Usher.
Unfortunately for the devil, the young man sees the more affordable price and decides to get the luxury car on his own. Dafoe disappears in a puff of black smoke.
Jean-Claude Van Damme returns
Now here’s a comeback we weren’t expecting. In this ad for Volvo Trucks, former action star Jean Claude Van Damme is seen staring into the camera. As the camera pans out (and Enya music pours in) Van Damme shows he’s still as limber as ever as he balances between two moving trucks.
Subaru’s “Best Friends’’
Here’s another ad that got us teary-eyed. Seriously, if you’re not at least sniffling by the end of this ad for the Subaru XV Crosstrek, featuring a man and his lifelong canine companion, you might want to check your pulse!
Fiat’s “Crab’’ ad
The second Fiat ad to make our list. This ad begins with a Fiat 500L driving under water then emerging onto a beach party (probably the same one we saw Pit Bull at earlier). A group of bikini-clad women frantically emerge from the car. It is eventually revealed that a frisky crab climbed aboard and was clearly getting pinchy.
Honda’s “Spread Some Cheer’’
We get another great comeback with the phrase, “Cue the Bolton!’’ In this ad for Honda’s “Happy Honda Days’’ event, the walls around a large decorative Christmas present in a Honda dealership collapse and Michael Bolton immediately breaks into song. Ah, the holidays are indeed upon us!