December 25th, 2013 by Steve Cypher

Which commercial was the best of 2013? The One Show to host Automotive Advertising of the year at the 2014 NAIAS to help decide.

Best Auto Commercial of 2013?

Hard to believe that 2013 is almost over and that 2014, along with the North American International Auto Show, is nearly upon us. So, like last year when they judged the top 10 automotive commercials of the last 25 years, the One Club will be hosting another pre-auto show event to judge the best auto advertising of 2013. To quote Leonard Nimoy: “Fascinating”.

Audi The Challenge” Commercial

Why quote Nimoy? Well because his role in the Audi online commercial “The Challenge”, an Audi//Star Treck cross promotion, is one of this years finalist in the online video section. The other online auto finalist are both Honda productions, “The Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989” and “Project Drive-in” covering the plight of drive in movie theaters which we recapped a few months back. As a commercial, the Audi spot is the strongest and favorite, though Honda’s efforts to save the Drive-ins are close to the heart.

It’s in the Broadcast TV section that things get more competitive. The top Finalist this year are all embedded below, but they are the Dodge “It Comes Standard” cross promotion from the Anchorman 2 series, the Honda “Hands” commercial, the Honda “Illusions” piece, the humorous Smart Car “Offroad” commercial, and the Land Rover “Roam Free” spot.

Dodge “It Comes Standard” Commercial

It’s hard not to love the Smart car commercial for their willingness to poke fun at themselves, or Dodge’s willingness to let Will Ferrell go un-tethered and pitch injected molded plastic glove boxes, but neither one would have even made consideration of last years top commercials of the last 25 years. The Honda “Hands” commercial is certainly great promotion of a brand, but as a UK commercial is totally new to most Americans.

The Honda “Hands” Commercial

The Honda “Illusions” commercial is certainly neat, but since you aren’t even aware of the point of the commercial until your nearly a minute in, its definitely a slow starter. But if “Illusions” is a slow starter, Land Rover’s “Roam Free” is practically invisible since it doesn’t even feature the vehicle at all. In the end, of the five finalist the Smart Car “Offroad” is probably our favorite. Still, that isn’t necessarily a ringing endorsement.

Smart fortwo “Offroad” Commercial

So what about all those commercials you likely did see this year? The ‘bowl commercials, or the ones blasted on big TV spots on endless loop? Well those are mostly in the Public Choice section where The One Club. You can check them out here, where they combine some of the best of the web and of broadcast TV. Our favorite is the Kia Hamsters commercial which has left Kia in a bit of a quandary as how best to market their furry Soul avatars moving forward.

The Honda “Illusions” Commercial

Not surprising several of the spots put together for name-we’re-not-allowed-to-say but known to many as the “Commercial Bowl” made the list, including the Mercedes-Benz “Soul”, Audi “Prom”, Kia “Space Babies” and Hyundai “Team” spots. Given the 16 automotive spots that ran during the game this year, that’s slim pickings.

The Land Rover “Roam Free” Commercial

We were surprised that Ram’s “Farmer” commercial failed to warrant mention, or that VW’s “Bellies” commercial would get mention but not their humorous “Mask” commercial. A lot of good, but maybe not great commercials came out this year but maybe you feel different. Have one you thought that should have been mentioned but didn’t make the cut this year? Or one you agree is a hands down favorite? Let us know in the comments below.

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