Advertisements have served as a type of historical record, preserving a piece of culture and popular desire in a physical form for generations to look back on and learn from. And when it comes to the world of automotive advertising, one of the most competitive segments of the industry, the need to appeal to mass desire is crucially important.
In essence, the following 10 videos are time capsules of what it took to be successful during past decades, ranging from Bruce Willis flying a helicopter, to the owner of a dealership standing atop a flying biplane, to a trans-Alaskan road trip. Check them out below and see some of the best moments of automotive advertising history YouTube has to offer. (Forgive the grainy quality – at the time of production, these commercials did not anticipate high-speed, high-quality internet streaming.)
(See Also: Top 10 Lamborghinis Ever Made)
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“Ride Pontiac Ride”
Long hair, guitar riffs and Pontiacs. This is what legends are made of. And this is what the 80’s were made of.
“Heartbeat of America”
According to this commercial, the IROC-Z was the heartbeat of America in 1986. And, quite frankly, we agree. Just look at this glorious footage.
“1980 Ford Mustang”
The original Fox body Mustang flying through the mountainside along with a horse? Count us in.
“Buick Grand National – Bad to the Bone”
What song goes perfectly with one of the meanest and baddest cars of the 80’s, the Buick Grand National? Bad to the Bone.
“Pontiac Sunbird Turbo”
“150 when you need it. When you want it.” This commercial displays the fantastic graphics that were used in the 80’s. Boy have we come a long way since.
The Saab 9000 Turbo was ahead of its time in terms of safety and stability. To demonstrate its prowess on pavement, eight examples were piloted by professional drivers and set to classical music.
“Go See Cal”
Our west coast friends probably remember Cal Worthington and his “dog” spot. Spot was played by a variety of mammals and reptiles and helped build the Worthington Dealership Group into a force to be reckoned with.
“1975 Chrysler Cordoba”
If you wanted a big, slow land yacht to accompany your leisure suit, Chrysler had you covered. The 1975 Cordoba was their luxury trim level of the New Yorker coupe, meant to compete against the El Dorado and Continental. Fitting of its Spanish namesake, actor Ricardo Montalban introduced us to “Corinthian Leather” in this classic commercial.
“Task Force 57”
Chevrolet wanted to display their wide range of new trucks for 57, and what a better way to do so than an Alaskan excursion? Maybe an idea to be recreated for 2016?
“Trucking up a mountain”
We have seen fake truck commercials before, but these are completely ridiculous