5 of the Worst Automobile Advertisements Ever

5. Black Gold



While there are plenty of old car ads that look laughable today, none of them are as hilariously dated as this ad for the car Datsun sold for the Z’s 10th anniversary. The ad mixes the 1980 fad for black and gold vehicles along with porno ‘staches, disco music, sci-fi sound effects and suggestive use of a gearshift lever.



4. Chevy vs. the “Man Step”



How do you promote a dated vehicle? If you’re Chevy, you make fun of your competitor’s new features. The race for ever greater payloads has forced truck beds upward over the years, and Ford dealt with this by adding a built-in tailgate step. Chevy’s response was to show this ad making fun of said “man step” without addressing the Silverado’s own high load height. In the end, it did a better job advertising Fords than Chevies and made GM truck owners look like morons.



3. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t really drive a Fiat 500, does she?



Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” campaign was successful because the 300 is a genuinely cool car, and exactly the sort of thing one would imagine Eminem driving as he tours his hometown. However, the same can’t be said of a similar ad for the Fiat 500.


Jennifer Lopez is one of the richest entertainers in the country, and her ex-fiance Ben Affleck had given her a Rolls-Royce Phantom for her birthday. Together with her failed “Jenny from the block” phase, the idea of J Lo reconnecting with her NYC ghetto upbringing in an Italian econobox seems utterly laughable.




2. Apple juice. Apple juice? Apple juice!



How do you bring some excitement to a refreshed model of car known for its unfailing reliability and little else?


Apple juice!


Yes, buyers, if you get so excited about having a slightly different smoothie that you can only express your joy with the help of a theater troupe, you too will love the new car from Toyota.



1. Hyundai’s Suicide Attempt




How do show that your car has low emissions? Comparisons with other vehicles? Images of other green technology?


How about showing a man trying to kill himself?


UK ad agency Innocean thought the best way to promote the hydrogen fuel cell version of the new ix35, sold here as the Tucson, was by showing how the car’s water-only emissions meant owners couldn’t use the exhaust to suffocate themselves. Odder still, it took a few days before Hyundai finally took the ad off-line.