Car adverts of the 80’s. Loadsa money.

Golf GTi 16v
Golf GTi 16v

Car adverts. Most are forgettable. Some are just plain awful. Occasionally, however, there is the odd moment of brilliance. Here are some of our favourite car adverts of the 80’s. Ah the memories.

Saab 900 Turbo

The rather tenuous link between a Saab and an aircraft is used to the full in this advert. It worked. The 900 was by far the biggest sales success for Saab. How much the advert played in the part of that we are unsure, but it set the tone for Saab amongst self-assured and well-educated architect types for the next 20 years.

Volkswagen Golf GTi 16v

It’s the late 80’s. Shoulder pads are not quite as big and yuppies are being a bit more selective on where they are splashing the cash. UK consumers by this point are being exposed to 2000 commercial messages a day. Indifferent adverts typical of the seventies and early eighties are making increasingly little impression.

In order to appeal to a more ‘sophisticated’ palate, Volkswagen commissioned a series of involving and humorous creative adverts. The adverts were confident, refined and subtle. They were to set a tone in-keeping with VW’s brand image. Whilst by no means being Volkswagen’s first TV commercials, they were certainly some of the best. Artfully shot and staged, they featured incisive dialogue and, of course, beautifully shot footage of the cars themselves.

One of the most commonly recalled campaigns of that era is the commercial below.

Volvo 740

What’s the best car to use when there’s deep snow around? A 4×4, of course. Or maybe a lightweight front-wheel drive car. What you definitely wouldn’t choose is a big, heavy, rear wheel drive saloon. Oh no, that would be silly..

Not according to Volvo. By some miracle of engineering, Volvo managed to make the stalwart 240 and newbie 740 ranges brilliantly capable in the snowiest conditions of Scandinavia. And to prove the point, the company’s marketing people issued this rather long advert.

Audi 100 quattro

Audi accomplished the unimaginable in 1986 when rally race car driver Harald Demuth drove an Audi 100 CS quattro up to the top of the Pitkavouri ski jump in Kaipola, Finland.

In this 1986 European ad, the Audi 100 CS Quattro powers its way up the 37.5 degree slope, arguably blurring the lines of reality and fiction. Still, it was certainly memorable.

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Categorized as General

By Simon D

About the author: Car enthusiast from an early age. Creator of Cars Interest. Current ride: Porsche Boxster 987.2.