The Five Best (And Five Worst) Super Bowl Car Ads

We throw down some judgement. Will you agree with us?

While we’d watch the Super Bowl just to see two great football teams hammer it out for the highest of stakes for a couple hours, we gotta admit, we do love checking out the ads between the plays as well. Especially the automotive commercials. Every year, car companies and their advertising agencies go all out trying to come up with the funniest, smartest, coolest, or just plain most moving commercials to convince the 100+ million people watching the game to buy their rides.

For 2013, we at RIDES decided not just to recap all the automtive Super Bowl ads, but to render judgement on which ones flew and which ones flopped. Got a different opinion? Then let us know in the comments below.

The Five Best Automotive-Themed 2013 Super Bowl Ads, from good to best:

5. Hyundai, “Stuck”


Hyundai spends a couple million to tell you what we always knew: More power is always better.

4. Hyundai, “Team”

The gang at Hyundai brought a full-out onslaught of ads to the Super Bowl, but this one made us laugh the hardest.

3. Ram, “Farmer”

Two years ago, Chrysler dropped their Eminem ad saluting Detroit. Last year, they showed an ad featuring Clint Eastwood saluting America’s come-from-behind spirit. And this year, they brought us a somber two minute salute to America’s farmers that made us do the thing we never thought a Super Bowl ad could do: stop eating.

2. Mercedes-Benz, “Soul”

Kate Upton, Usher, Willem Dafoe as Satan, The Rolling Stones on the jukebox, and a stylish new Mercedes-Benz for less than $30K? There’s nothing about this ad we don’t dig.

1. Audi, “Prom”

That’s just damn good television.

The Five Worst Automotive-Themed 2013 Super Bowl Ads, from bad to worst

5. Lincoln, “Phoenix”

It’s not so much that this is a bad Super Bowl ad…just that it’s a pretty ordinary commercial. Where’s the wow factor? That Lincoln can afford CGI fire? Or that they actually have a decent-looking car for the first time in a decade? (And what’s with the brief shot of a blurry Abraham Lincoln?)

4. Kia, “Hotbots”

Little violent, don’t you think?

3. Toyota RAV4, “Wish Granted”

Putting that chick from The Big Bang Theory into a commercial and then having her grant the unoriginal wishes of a stereotypical middle-class family: not the best way to capture our interest. And why’s she being such a jerk to the dad?

2. VW, “Get Happy”

So, all Jamaicans are happy? Driving a VW Beetle makes you think you’re Jamaican? This ad makes about one-tenth of an ounce of sense.

1. Lincoln, “Once Upon A Tweet”

Twitter’s good for a lot of things, but telling stories about road-trips? Not so much. So we’re not surprised Lincoln’s ad dramatically reenacting the road trips people tweeted at them falls flat. (Woman meets German student hitchhiker, stops at an alpaca farm and a low-budget film set, then they get married?) But what makes it even more confusing: What’s Jimmy Fallon have to do with all this? If he’s involved, shouldn’t we see him somewhere in there?