James Hind: Car ads that push the boundaries – sometimes a little too far

We asked James Hind, the editor of carbuzz, to choose some ads which appeal to car fans and professionals. Here’s James’s view.

Although adverts from many brands tend to be banned by advertising standard boards, those from car manufacturers seem particularly susceptible. Perhaps it’s because so many consumers instantly stop paying attention because it’s ‘just an advert for a boring car’. As a result many car manufacturers are turning to humour to try and get a reaction and hold viewer’s attention. Some take it a little too far and get banned, others have toed the line to keep them family-friendly whilst still being amusing. Here are my favourites.

Subaru Forrester: This TV commercial was an instant hit in online car communities throughout the world. Subaru Canada released this ad just after two of their arch rivals, Lexus and Nissan, had just created adverts with Sports Illustrated models in them. Subaru wanted to create a more family friendly approach, while still injecting some humour and taking the mickey out of their competition.

Volkswagen Passat: Volkswagen’s ‘Use the Force’ advert has been one of the most successful commercials of all time. In less than a year since airing it has already had over 50 million views on YouTube alone and received huge amounts of press coverage in national newspapers.

Toyota Yaris: This Toyota Yaris ad, aired in Australia, shouldn’t be watched by those easily offended. It was banned almost instantly when first released, and Toyota deleted all copies on their website and social media accounts. However, thanks to the attention it got on car forums it’s not too hard to find.

Toyota RAV4: Another banned advert, but a classic. This British commercial for the Toyota RAV4 was banned as the advertising authorities said it promoted domestic violence. We think they need to lighten up a little!

Volvo V60: This advert for the Volvo V60 shown in the UK spoofs the often over-used ‘sex sells’ angle that many car manufacturers take. The advert works well as it shows the styling of the car set to atmospheric music as well as showing the size of the boot, which is a key thing for estate car buyers!

This is a guest post from James Hind, the editor of carbuzz. Carbuzz is a UK-based site that helps you choose which new car to buy, without all the geek talk that’s normally found on car sites!

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