Vintage Advertising Gold: 40+ Ads That Put Modern Marketing To Shame

By Aakash M

These days, most of the car ads that you’ll see will show off the car’s capability. Everything will be there, from its luxurious interior to cutting-edge technology and exterior looks. On top of that, there might be a beautiful model endorsing it. These are the primary attributes you can expect. If you honestly study it, you can call it artful deception.

The ads we see these days are unimaginably different from the car ads that used to run in past decades. These are the kind of ads people would actually sit and study in old magazines and newspapers.  The most significant element of difference is the humor, which was at a whole new level in vintage car ads.

Not only were these ads funny, but they were equally educational. It’s a great marketing move. So, here are 41 highly creative and hilarious vintage car ads!

What’s gremlin anatomy?

Well, we’re honestly asking this question, and not in a funny way. We never learned about it in high school. Did any of you happen to study it in your textbooks? If you do know about it, please consider helping us out!

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Phew, thankfully, that’s just the name of the car. Anyways, isn’t it a pretty small car? Also, we wonder how a doggo would feel sitting in that place, as shown in the image. Well, it still has some pretty impressive specifications, though.

The best offer you can get

If you only read the headline and the image, it’d look like you’re getting two cars with one on top of the other for that sum, which would be pretty weird. But, they’re saying that you’re getting the features of two cars for the price of one.

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These cars do make sense if you look at them properly and read the whole add. If you read everything, you’ll understand what they’re offering and how they’re offering. After that, you’d be in awe because that’s some excellent marketing right there. 

Sweet lies

We are all against lying to the bank. It’s wrong, and nobody should do that. However, we have something for you that says otherwise. So, take a look at this vintage ad and tell us what you think about it…

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The ad smoothly and convincingly says that you can tell the bank that it is an economy car, just for all the accounts and other purposes. Looking at this car, can you say that it is an economy car, out of all things? That’s a pure race-bred Daytona Shelby right there.


Looking at this image, you’d say that this car or its ad is not even close to vintage. In our defense, that’s a pretty great ad. The car claims to have a lower impact on the environment than others, and it turns out that this claim is valid.

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The car indeed has the lowest carbon dioxide emission range in all of Europe. We don’t know what’s up with the crash test. Most of all, what’s up with the panda? We think it’s a way to say that their car has a low environmental impact. Creative advertising at its best!

A classified Harley ad

Let’s break it to you. This hilarious classified ad isn’t the last one that you’ll be seeing. We love Harleys. They’re known to be the best bikes on the market. But, let’s not overlook the main point, which is the difficult situation of this man.

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He’s unfortunately stuck in a pickle. The bike’s features and description are pretty neat. But, the man’s girlfriend is pregnant, and his wife knows about it! Not only that, but the lawyer wants money! Somebody, please help the man and buy his Harley.

Smart marketing

Porsche really pulled off some great marketing here. The whole thing is beautifully written. Now, here’s the catch. You could’ve bought this Porsche for only $3,595 back in the day. It is the Mid-Engine Porsche, which is a classic two-seater sports car.

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Considering the rates and everything, it’s actually a car that young people could afford. Well, we envy all the youngsters of this generation, and they might be jealous themselves as well because it isn’t possible to get a Porsche for that price today.

A classified, smug, and pointless ad

We looked at this ad, and we immediately thought, “What’s the point of this ad in the first place?” Then it got to us, and we couldn’t stop laughing about it! We pity those who actually wanted to buy a vehicle, came across this ad and took it seriously until they read it to the end.

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Instead of an ad, it is more like the person just wants to let people know that he has a 2005 Toyota in excellent condition and that he looks after it. He just wanted to let you all know, guys, he’s not selling it. Don’t fall for it.

Guts and glory

BMW might have indeed made a lot of enemies with this ad. It’s an impressive one, but they directly put up the photos of seven other great cars from great companies beside it and compared their car with them head-on. 

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That’s quite a roast, and BMW is quite the risk-taker. It looks like they’d do anything to be on the top of the game and outshine others. We love how hilariously BMW puts its competitors down in this ad.

No difference at all

Basically, this ad says that there’s no significant difference between a Lamborghini and a Volvo. For starters, we’d ask you to look at this image and wonder how it is even possible in the first place? They look entirely different!

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However, here are some questions for you. Which car would you prefer here? Will it be a Lamborghini Countach with a storage unit, or will it be a Volvo station wagon? It’s not even close to a trick question. Yet, this is an excellent attempt from Volvo.

Police cars?

Yes, you are looking at Volkswagen police cars. It would’ve been more reasonable if it was something other than the car you’ll see in the image. Perhaps, something a bit more spacious, or at least with four doors, perhaps.

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We don’t even know how these were even chosen to be used as police cars. Fact: They were actually used in Scottsboro, Alabama, as police cars. We wonder how people sat in the back seat, criminals especially. It’s definitely not so roomy back there.

Double meaning car joke

This one is one of the most hilarious ads so far. First of all, we just love the tagline. It’s all the Japanese you need to know. It sounds so funny and catchy, yet so confident. Even the artwork is excellent. Okay, fine, let’s address the elephant in the room.

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The joke is the best part about this ad, just like every other one, but this one is something else. If you got the joke, you’re smart. Although the joke doesn’t make any literal sense, it’s enough to give you an idea! Now that’s funny. 

Wilt Chamberlain in a Beetle

You are looking at the 1966 Volkswagen Beetle, and of course, basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain. Honesty is the best part here. Volkswagen has wonderfully combined honesty educationally and funnily and developed a genius combination!

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They literally said that this car isn’t for you if you are as tall as Wilt. The rest of the ad talks about certain car specifications in an equally quirky way. All in all, we must say that Volkswagen had some pretty great marketing ideas back then!

Double meaning car joke pt.2

Once again, we are looking at a Japanese car ad with probably the same template as the one we saw before. Also, it has a similar turn of phrase like the previous car, and just like the last one, it is hilarious.

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It looks like they are pretty good at it, or it might be the only joke they have. Either way, it’s still funny if they used it a thousand more times. The Japanese language right at the middle of the sentence is some excellent wordplay.


Dodge almost makes it look like they’re selling two different cars. It is literally, but they actually say that the Dodge Shadow 1992 works like two cars. If you actually read the text, the marketers sound highly confident in what they’re saying.

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There’s a beach look for the beach and a muscle look for other occasions, but what if you want to go to the Muscle Beach in LA? Sorry, we tried to be funny like these vintage ads, but it looks like we can’t pull it off. They are better at it. Let’s leave it to them.

Dark humor

This ad is pretty ahead of time and different from other ads since most of the ones we’ve seen talk about the car’s specifications. Instead, this ad sells convenience to its customers, which is quite a clever marketing move.

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But, it hilariously does that by indirectly hinting that if you ever want to hide a dead body in the car safely, then this car is for you. That’s dark. Or, you can keep other things there as well that are a little less morbid.

No words

Well, here is the thing. You don’t need to be very smart or speak multiple languages to understand this ad. Also, the ad’s excellent because it has many great messages hidden in it., which makes you study and remember the ad more.

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The clues are laid out there pretty clearly. It’s all about your perception. Let’s make it simple. There isn’t much to do, but you need to choose. Which side will you choose? Obviously, love is the answer. But, which form of love do you prefer?

Great value for money?

This ad is of the vintage Dodge Daytona. This car was, and still is, such a beauty. The ad is quite the takeaway, and once again, it involves innovative marketing. We have heard about cars going 0-100mph in a certain amount of seconds, but take a look at this ad.

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Have you heard of a car going from $0-$11,000? The Dodge Daytona does! That being said, all it needs is a signature! Well, apart from that, it also reaches speeds up to 149mph. That’s great as well. This car certainly offers excellent value for the money.

An open challenge

There are its specs, there’s the image, there’s your advantage, and then there’s the challenge. What do you say? Wanna race? If you want our opinion, then we’d say to count your odds because we think you’d lose this one.

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Indeed, old cars aren’t always the best when it comes to technicality. They have a lot of problems. But, it isn’t the case with this beauty, which is still a beast. This Porsche has aged like fine wine, as most car lovers would agree.

Perfect usage of the billboard

This one isn’t a car ad. It’s a public service announcement and a pretty sensible one at that. Tailgating a truck will turn your car into a convertible. Not the convertible that you know and love, but it’ll actually take the roof off your car.

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So, it’s best to drive safely and steer clear of these trucks, giving them more room. You wouldn’t want your sedan to be a convertible now, would you? Nonetheless, we have never seen a billboard being used so ideally.

Issued in public interest

Here is another great message on a billboard. However, it is not as innovative as the previous one, but it is still pretty cool. People should actually consider splitting their parking because it would be a huge money saver.

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Most of us know that the SmartCar is the smallest thing in the game, which is also why it’s famous. But, we just realized that they also have an excellent image for being one of the most innovative marketers and advertisers in the car world.

Competitive nature

The joke in this ad is more like the ones that go like, “three people walked in the bar.” The only difference is that you’d say three cars walked in a bar: A Ferrari, a Rolls Royce, and a Porsche. That’s a pretty bold ad from Citroen, we must say.

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Man, they took the bull by the horns, and directly comparing their car to a Porsche, Rolls Royce, and Ferrari is a big thing indeed. That too, the comparison is about how their car is better than the others in particular aspects. Pretty confident marketers!

Showing them who rules

Subaru has indeed got some savage comebacks for its competitors. This comeback is probably the most savage of them all. Have a look at Subaru’s humble words for itself and its competitors like BMW and Audi. Subaru definitely hit them on the head with this one.

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It’s like Subaru’s showing them who the OG is. Although Audi and BMW did win the beauty contest, Subaru won the award for internal beauty, meaning the engine. It technically is a more critical aspect. Great job on the marketing anyways!


That’s a pretty great job by Fiat on impersonating Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and The Titanic. We might have honestly bought that and thought it was the movie’s actual scene if it was the ship instead of the car.

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However, the point is that the car has a pretty huge sunroof with enough room for you to reenact the famous Titanic pose. Great job, Fiat! Also, the advertising is even better than the features! So, excellent job on the marketing.

Which one is better?

Now, here are two billboards. One is an Audi, and the other is a BMW. It looks like there’s a little trash talk going on between the two. So, the stage is set for both the cars and their companies to prove their point. Which side will you choose?

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If we look at the bottom left, Audi started it with a billboard, to which BMW put up a billboard saying checkmate. Then, Audi put up another billboard saying that their pawn is no match to the king. Looks like it is a match, considering that BMW bought a blimp that says, “game over.”

Audi took things seriously

We wish this billboard could’ve been a sequel to the previous war of billboards, but we aren’t so sure about it. Yet, here is another great billboard from Audi. Excellent marketing, we must say! That’s actually pretty savage. Take a look.

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Here is an announcement for all the residents of Lake Forest. Your town just got faster because an Audi R8 GT has been sold in your town. So, it is advised that all slow traffic should keep right and make way for the beast.

Marriages can be sticky

It’s true, for many people, although it wouldn’t be for the other half. It’s just an assumption and not at all an actual fact. But, we believe that it should be one because it’d be such a true tale of a car!

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We must say that’s one heck of a line for an ad. Well, you should consider getting this car in that case, because it has got a lot of prenups. You’ll be covered. Anyways, Aston Martin cars will always have a special place in our hearts.

Selling cars and the feeling of security

This ad is pretty fitting. There are no getaway cars in Germany. The justice system over there is pretty swift, and you’ll be sold on it once you look at their cars, which are just like this car below.

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That’s a great marketing move from Porsche, and it shows how committed they are to increasing their creativity in advertising. Also, these cars are pretty great for being used as police cars, and they’ll pretty much chase anything down, so don’t even try.

Innovation on point

Earlier, we saw a billboard message that conveyed the reason why we should give trucks more room. Now, we have found its match because this billboard is equally innovative. The message is the same. Tailgating trucks is simply not worth it.

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If you tailgate, your car might end up like the car in the billboard, smashed and folded-up. We must say that they really brought this one home. The presentation is splendid, and the whole cramping up of the billboard makes it more realistic.

Size doesn’t matter

While researching vintage car ads, we stumble upon one of the most savage ads we have ever seen. This ad is of a Mini, which is actually a pretty successful car today. We all know that cars from Mini are small-sized, just like its name.

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So, this line suits their car pretty amazingly. You actually don’t need a big one to be happy. We are only talking about a car because driving a mini is excellent. But that’s some good wordplay there. Happiness comes in small packages.

Small but tough

Here is another creative ad from Volkswagen. The Polo is a small but tough car, according to this ad. The ad says that this car is reliable and dependable with fantastic build quality. It was a pretty strong marketing slogan.

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But, things went south when Volkswagen had to fend off critics for a TV ad showing a suicide bomber detonating a bomb in a Mk4Polo outside a cafe. The dark ad ended on the same ‘small but tough’ line. It happened in 2005, and it looks like they went too far with it.

For the senior citizens

According to Peugeot, if your age is between 50 and 70, this car would be perfect for you. This advertisement was for the 205 GTi in 1987. The ad actually has a pretty clever message behind the whole 50-70 line.

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With this ad, Peugeot is trying to say that during this time of life, the body slows down gradually, but it does. And, the picture shows that GTi is a perfect car for overtaking between 50-70mph. They definitely outlined their target audience.

Is it a sports car? Or is it?

If you must, then sure, you can call it a sports car. But before deciding on anything, we’d rather have you take a look at the image of this Ibishu Covet ZXi, which, according to the makers, wasn’t at all designed to be a sports car.

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However, it has all the features and the basic performance specifications of a sports car. Literally all the features. Even the interior is similar. However, only its looks say otherwise. Well, the ad worked because we’re sold. It’s a sports car.

An odd way of marketing?

Man, things were so different back then. It’s pretty interesting how an ad conveying that message was acceptable to be printed and put up on billboards. You would never see this today. Although it’s odd, it’s still a pretty clever ad.

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We aren’t saying anything. If it were us, we’d only be whistling at the car. Also, how can we forget how legendary and classic the vintage Chevys were. Many of these vintage cars are still running smoothly to this day.

Deal, or no deal?

This ad is probably the funniest, wittiest, and simply the best. Imagine if a salesperson makes this offer to you, saying that the Mid-Engine Porsche, which is priced at $36,000, is available for you at just $3,595. What would you answer in this situation?

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For starters, have a look at the image. Remember the Mid-Engine Porsche we talked about earlier? Well, it’s that one. So, a lot of things have changed in the two cars. Yet, a Porsche is a Porsche. It’s a classic sports car. Who’d deny that offer!

Peace on the roads

Let us translate the ad for you. The whole thing means that we are all drivers and that we should all share the road in harmony. Now, you’d ask, what does this line have to do with a vintage car ad? Well, nothing.

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Although it isn’t a car ad per se, it is still a great marketing move, and the ad actually sends out a pretty clever message. All in all, that’s a pretty brilliant idea! Whoever made this ad, great job to you!

Dad, is that you?

Hands down, this ad is the best one that Volkswagen has put out. First of all, the whole father-son thing here is impressive, given that the Beetle is the father and the cabriolet is the son. Now, let’s marvel at this ad. Everything in it is fantastic. There’s a pun everywhere.

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On the top, it says ASAP, which stands for as sun as possible. Then, the Beetle Cabriolet is literally called ‘Sun,’ and not ‘Son,’ because it’s an open-top! That’s the fanciest wordplay we have ever seen in an ad.

No other option

There’s a saying that beggars can’t be choosers. After looking at this ad, that quote fits pretty well. If you had no other option but to get a car with little resources, you’d be left to buy this car.

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First of all, this thing almost has 300,000kms on it. We don’t even know about the last time it was serviced. Secondly, it doesn’t look so great. We are only judging by looks. Finally, the ad literally says that it beats walking. Here’s another thing that beats walking: Running.

That sounds like the name of a salon

Sorry, but that’s the first thing that came to our minds after looking at this ad. Although it is pretty creative, and it’s a great marketing move from Hurst, “His and Hers” sounds like a salon, or any other thing, until you add transmission controls to that.

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That’s pretty thoughtful because, by his and hers, they mean that it has some remarkable performance-related features, which is what men usually search for. For her, the automatic transmission will offer peace of mind when she is behind the wheel.

Writer on holiday

It looks like somebody else got on this vintage ad before us and made a meme out of it. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty funny meme of a quite amusing car ad. We understand because the ad is pretty savage and confusing.

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Are they trying to say that the Velar is so good that you don’t need a headline? Or is it simply because their writer isn’t available, but they just had to put the ad up ASAP? That confusion is pretty hilarious, and we’d like to assume it’s the former.

BMW hitting where it hurts

That’s a taunt for many, but it’s a great advertising line for BMW. We hope the hopeless romantics don’t mind it. But, you can also fall in love with your car. It is truly unique, with fewer risks, too!

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All in all, true love would be hard to find unless you’re talking about getting a BMW convertible because then, it will be pretty easy to come across! So, here’s the lesson. Be wise, be specific, and fall in love with this car!

Sleep Before Safety

Catching a snooze in the car has never looked so cozy. We bet when Nash Motors Company released this ad, it looked like a winner. What’s not to love about the idea of a whole traveling together in the world’s finest car as the little ones take a nap at the back?

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Of course, we know better now. At the time, seatbelts were unheard of seeing as they only became a requirement in 1968. Hopefully, no kids were sent flying when the brakes were hit unexpectedly. Also, we have to acknowledge the circus setting with “Dumbo” at the back. Nice touch!