A good car commercial will make us want to laugh, cry, get out and drive, or, if done very well, buy something. When car manufacturers and the creatives behind the commercials add kids to the mix, they’ve got the makings of a memorable commercial that pushes the boundaries of hilariously inappropriate, sweetly emotional, or downright funny.
Some of the best car commercials featuring kids have becoming classically viral and more watched online than on TV. We’ve put together a collection of eight of the best — old and new car — commercials featuring kids. A word of warning, some of these are best watched away from work or where others may wonder why you are laughing or worse, sobbing like a baby.
1. Volkswagen Passat: “The Force”
This 2012 award-winning commercial by Volkswagen has more than 63 million views on YouTube. It premiered during Super Bowl XLV and is beloved by Star Wars fans and viewers in the mood for a good laugh.
A little boy, costumed as Darth Vader, wanders around the house unsuccessfully using his powers from the dark side to control anything he comes across — until he comes face to face with a Volkswagen Passat and the clever dad who orchestrates the Volkswagen’s response to Darth Vader’s power from the kitchen.
2. The Smart Car and the trucker-mouth toddlers
If you’re likely to glaze over the endless drone of commercials, the 2015 ad for Smart Car is bound to get your attention. Adorable little toddlers with the filthiest of potty mouths are fascinating. There’s something wrong with kids swearing, but the little tykes (and the viewer) take delight in dropping full unabashed f-bombs.
The commercial shows how these kids possibly picked up these colorful phrases. All fingers point to mom or dad cursing when attempting to park a massive SUV in a small parking space. The Smart Car commercial’s slogan is: “Drive the wrong car, teach the wrong words.” Well done, MB.
3. Audi A6: “My dad is an alien.”
In the 2012 commercial named “Alien,” a precocious little girl shares her observations on why her dad is an alien, complete with a space ship known as the Audi A6. According to a statement by Audi, “In ‘Alien’ viewers are transported into the world of a child who misunderstands her dad’s looks, actions and most notably all of the technological innovations inside the Audi A6 as proof that he is a space alien.”
4. Nissan’s 2015 Super Bowl commercial, “With Dad.”
Nissan wants the public to know that it’s more than a sensibly built, affordable car manufacturer. It also builds racing cars like the GT-R LM Nismo race car which ran at Le Mans this summer and is featured in the commercial.
The commercial illustrates the life of a boy growing up with a race-driver dad. As his dad struggles and risks his life in a quest to win, his son watches much of it unfold on TV while mom worries for her husband. Dad eventually wins the big race and comes to pick his son up in the new Maxima. The commercial runs the song “Cat’s In the Cradle” by Harry Chapin, which adds an emotional factor to the commercial. On a sad and ironic note, Chapin himself was killed in a car accident.
5. Porsche 911 GT3: Car lovers are born, not made
Porsche’s 2013 Dream commercial features a little boy admiring the fine lines of the 911 GT3 Cup 991 like an expert. He strokes the aluminum wheels, checks out the tailpipes with a grin and sits in the driver’s seat, feet barely clearing the edge of the seat, with his hands on the steering wheel like a proper adult. The viewer then sees a track driver come by and perform the same ritual to the stunning car, who we assume is the child — all grown up.
6. Mercedes-Benz’s uncrashable campaign annoys the kids
Mercedes-Benz’s new ad highlights their car’s safety features while sending kids into a tizzy. The automaker gave kids toy cars with heavy-duty magnets to loosely replicate their Brake Assist System PLUS. The video shows kids who normally love crashing their cars together having no luck with the safety-upgraded toy cars. The cruel experiment is a treat to watch.
7. Toyota’s “Loving Eyes”
Toyota’s 2015 commercial, released on Father’s Day, is named “Loving Eyes.” Get the tissue ready, the emotional commercial shows the father’s point of view throughout his daughter’s life. It starts with dad putting baby in his Toyota for the first time and highlights important glimpses of their lives together. The commercial then flips the perspective to show his daughter’s view of the same events.
8. Toyota’s squealing-in-delight little girl air acrobat
Toyota of Spain’s commercial for the new Auris model features a home video of a dad doing aerial plane tricks while his adorable, 4-year-old daughter hangs on in the backseat, giggling uncontrollably. The slogan is “trust makes everything more fun.” The little girl, named Lea, is a YouTube star; the original video has more than 2.5 million hits.