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Five of the best car ads from the SpotBowl era (2004-present)

If a Super Bowl is played, but no car commercials air, was there even a Super Bowl?

Okay, so maybe that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but there is no denying the fact that the Super Bowl and automotive industry are two peas in a pod. With the industry spending 10’s of millions a year on Super Bowl spots, it’s a safe bet that you’ll see automakers both big and small represented in the sporting event of the year. However, some stand a cut above the rest. So buckle up and follow along as we shift gears and count down the top five Super Bowl car ads from recent years that went the extra mile.

5. First Date – Hyundai Genesis

Kevin Hart connects with dads everywhere in this hilarious spot highlighting the new Car Finder feature included with the Hyundai Genesis. Channeling his inner ninja, Hart finds a number of creative and stealthy ways to keep an eye on his daughter as she goes on her first date.

4. Defying the Laws of Physics – Chevy Sonic

Coming in at number four on our list is this commercial for the Chevy Sonic, which showcases the car in a variety of precarious and adrenaline-fueling stunts that you definitely don’t want to try at home. However, what makes this unorthodox but exciting spot really shine is the music video that was released simultaneously with the spot. Featuring the song “Needing/Getting,” by OK Go, the music video, in its most basic form, is an ad for the Chevy Sonic. An ad that has been viewed almost 42 million times as of this post.

3. Police Chase – Toyota Prius

Whoever said Priuses don’t make great escape vehicles obviously never saw this ad from Super Bowl 50. More self-aware than ever, Toyota takes a stab (and succeeds) at demystifying the stigma around Priuses in spectacularly hilarious fashion. This spot, which marked the first time since 2005 that Prius advertised in the Super Bowl, was so successful that it spawned a number of follow-up spots that ran into Spring of that year.

2. A Better Super Bowl – Hyundai

Hyundai takes a new approach to the longtime Super Bowl theme of connecting soldiers with their families in this spot from Super Bowl 51. Featuring the tagline, “Better Drives Us,” Hyundai tugged at viewers’ heartstrings with this emotionally driven spot.

1. Imported From Detroit – Chrysler 200

Coming in at number one on our list is this 2011 spot featuring the Chrysler 200. The first Super Bowl ad to span a full two minutes, it set a trend that brands have continued to follow since. This spot was a comeback story when America needed it most. Following a close brush with death, Chrysler is back and here to stay, boldly announcing so with the help of Detroit native and rap mogul Eminem.