automotive Ranks Millennium's Super Bowl Car Ads

  • by January 12, 2009
Hummer commercial

Using a Led Zeppelin tune during its 2003 Super Bowl commercial helped revitalize General Motors' luxury brand Cadillac, but Celine Dion's warbling for Chrysler during the same game failed to convey luxury--representing the start of "where Chrysler went wrong," according to, which just named the two ads respectively as the best and worst Super Bowl car commercials so far in the 21st century. itself will be a Super Bowl sponsor for the second time this year, along with at least Hyundai and Audi. Last year, autos were the game's largest ad category, with five-and-a-half minutes of commercials from Hyundai, Audi, Nissan, Toyota, and just one domestic company--GM.



Alas, responding to the U.S auto industry's current economic problems, GM will have no commercials in Super Bowl XLIII next month. But the car giant's Super Bowl history will not be forgotten, as placed four GM ads among its top ten Super Bowl commercial honorees of the 2000s. In addition to the top-rated 2003 Cadillac spot, the other GM winners included Cadillac's 2005 "Click, Click...Launch" spot at #7, and two commercials featuring somewhat less luxurious brands:

  • At #3, Chevy's 2004 spot for its SSR retro sports truck, featuring the reactions of cute kids with soap sticking out of their mouths--although the SSR itself became a "gigantic flop."
  • At #4, a 2006 "Monsters" spot for Hummer, a brand which may also be on the outs now at GM.

GM also found three of its spots garnering worst Super Bowl ad distinctions, including one for otherwise-honored Cadillac (the 2006 Escalade Fashion Show, at #3), another from the same year (the environmental image ad, "Live Green, Go Yellow," at #2), and from the following year--the much-maligned "Suicidal Robots" (#9), touting GM's warranty.

The editors who did the judging really disliked a lot of 2006 Super Bowl commercials. In addition to the two GM spots, four other commercials from that year were named to the worst 10 list, including two from Toyota--"Tacoma Invincible Seas" (#4) and Camry Hybrid Bilingual (#5)--and two other spots touting hybrids--Kermit the Frog for Ford's Escape (#6) and the Lexus RX 400h "Two Cars in One" (#7).

On the other hand, two commercials from 2006 also made the top 10 list of best Super Bowl commercials--the already-mentioned Hummer Monsters and, at #5, Honda's Mudflaps ad for its Ridgeline pickup.

Rounding out the top 10 best commercials list were:

  • #2 - Mazda's introduction of its "Zoom Zoom" theme in 2001
  • #6 -"Godfather Reprise" for the Audi R8, 2008
  • #8 - Dodge Magnum's "Monkey on Your Back," 2004
  • #9 - Toyota Tundra's "Doing Crazy Stuff," 2007
  • #10 - Ford Mustang's "Frozen Convertible Driver." 2005.


The bottom 10 list also included 2000's "People Jumping into Water" for the BMW X5 (#8) and 2002's VW Turbo "Explained by Prom-Goers" (#10).

Next story loading loading..