Now we're down to the very best car ads we've seen this year. In all of these, the ad crafters found a way to meld the perfect message with the hallmark of the car--whether it's a calling-card set of doors, a funky freshness, a gritty revival, science fiction or pure hormonal appeal.
5) Everyone loves a triumph, including Mercedes-Benz. We love how Benz' ad crew integrated the new SLS and its hallmark gullwing doors into the commercial so seamlessly, and put them in perfect context.
4) The hamster-riffic Kia Soul commercials have been a huge hit, and our list wouldn't be complete without them. This year the hamsters won over bad-ass, butt-shaking aliens on a desolate planet populated only by charcoal, smoke, and LMFAO's ubiquitous and maddeningly catchy "Party Rock Anthem"--the soundtrack to holiday houses everywhere.
3) One of the two most talked-about commercials during this year's Super Bowl was the Volkswagen's ad, dubbed "The Force", which featured the new 2012 Passat. Cute, funny, and warm-hearted, the ad hits all the right notes, especially for Gen Xers raised on Star Wars.
2) VW's ad felt right, but Chrysler's 200 ad blew a hole in the game telecast with a darkly cinematic tone and its bracing gospel take on Eminem's Lose Yourself. At a little over 2 minutes long, the ad lured in viewers just by being on screen so long. With Eminem as the star of the commercial, Chrysler drummed up quite a bit of buzz, even though the 200 sedan wasn't its best foot forward, and despite the semantic issues with its "Imported From Detroit" tagline. Hate it or love it, it's still a hot topic on YouTube to this day.
1) Our single favorite car ad of the year? The new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth commercial. Hilarious, sexy, and aggressive, the ad somehow finds a way to play the usual car-ad sexism for maximum fun, and impact. We could get used to car ads with a brain and a body--car ads like this one.