Audi’s 2008 Super Bowl “Godfather” ad named the best car commercial of all time

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 13, 2011

Audi’s 2008 Super Bowl ad was named the best car commercial of all time by the men's magazine Complex. Its Web site had listed the 50 best car commercials of all time and Audi’s ad came out on top.

It spoofed a scene in The Godfather that involved a severed horse head. In the ad, a man wakes up in bed with a nasty surprise: the cut-off front end of his Mercedes in a pool of grease. It was given the tag line: "Old luxury just got put on notice."

Audi wanted to be known as a new power in the prestige-car market. The No. 2 commercial on this list is an ad for the Honda Accord sport wagon named “The Cog.” This two-minute ad was shown in the UK in 2003.

A chain reaction was set off by a transmission bearing rolling down a board. It later leads to walking windshield wipers, rotating panes of glass and a tumbling muffler. Just like any other list, there would be many who would dispute it.

Many took issue with the fact that the list had mostly recent ads. Of the 50 ads, 33 were broadcast from 2000 or later. It’s also noticeable that Volkswagen's "Think Small" campaign from the early 1960s was left off entirely.

It’s a glaring omission since Advertising Age had named this campaign, which sought to differentiate the Beetle from the large Detroit-made cars of its generation, as the best advertising campaign of the 20th century.

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