Most people in the auto industry have a favorite car commercial, whether it's Chrysler's "Imported From Detroit," featuring Eminem, or Volkswagen's "The Force," the one with the little kid in the Darth Vader get-up. The men's magazine Complex has its faves, too, and recently listed "the 50 best car commercials of all time" on its Web site.
The top spot went to an Audi 2008 Super Bowl ad that spoofs the severed horse head scene in The Godfather. In the commercial, a man wakes up to find the cut-off front end of his Mercedes sitting in a pool of grease in his bed. With the tag line, "Old luxury just got put on notice," Audi aimed to promote itself as a new power in the prestige-car market.
No. 2 was "The Cog," a two-minute ad for the Honda Accord sport wagon that was broadcast in the United Kingdom in 2003. In the ad, a transmission bearing rolling down a board sets in motion a chain reaction that ultimately involves walking windshield wipers, rotating panes of glass and a tumbling muffler.
The Complex list ignited an Internet debate. A common complaint was that the magazine's "all-time" list focused mostly on recent commercials -- 33 out of the 50 are from 2000 or later.
Among those left off the list was Volkswagen's "Think Small" campaign from the early 1960s. That campaign, which meant to differentiate the Beetle from the bulky Detroit-made cars of the era, was named the best advertising campaign of the 20th century by Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News.
To see the full list and videos of the commercials visit autonews.com/top100.