Ad Watch: Finalists for 2014 Automobile Advertising of the Year Award

It was a good year in the world of automobile advertising, with plenty of memorable clips throughout 2013. With finalists coming in from all over the world, there is plenty of competition for the international crown. Here are the finalists for the broadcast TV spots, according to The One Club's Automobile Advertising of the Year award.

The first contender should come as no surprise, with “It Comes Standard” helping the 2014 Dodge Durango post big sales increases over last year for its fresh redesign. Ron “milk-was-a-bad-choice” Burgundy is the Durango’s most confident advocate, really honing on the details of the SUV’s more minute capabilities. Probably half of 2014 Dodge Durango buyers drove their new car off the lot, immediately stopping at a deli to see if the “standard” glovebox would fit two turkey sandwiches.

Two of Honda’s ads, “Illusions” and “Hands,” were named finalists this year. “Illusions” shows the Euro-spec 2014 Honda CR-V i-DTEC Diesel in various eye-popping three-dimensional optical illusions, all to the tune of smooth bass lines, jazzy piano, and snappy percussion beats. Second is “Hands” which demonstrates the innovation and diversity of Honda’s entire range of products over the years, from a leaf blower to the celebrated Honda NSX supercar. An engineer twists a single nut into an engine, which is then shaped into a motorcycle, and so on. It’s an impressive reminder that the same people that make ATVs and boat engines also created the ASIMO humanoid and future HondaJet.

“Roam Free” is Land Rover’s finalist-worthy ad, which illustrates Land Rover’s all-terrain capabilities using four agile parkour athletes. Flipping, sliding, diving, and twisting through the woods with jaw-dropping grace and effortless athleticism, the parkour athletes move two-by-two as if to each represent a single wheel of a Land Rover.

Daimler/Smart stepped up with a truly memorable ad, "Offroad,” reminding us that the Smart ForTwo is specially-designed for use in the city, and consequently is not your best companion off the beaten path. As hardcore rock rages in the background, the Smart fails miserably at every off-road attempt, memorably spinning its little tires as it tries to scale a hill up and down until it eventually splashes unceremoniously into a watery bog. Back on its own turf, it confidently rides the curb into a tiny city parking spot which the much larger Chevrolet Suburban couldn’t squeeze into.

Online favorites like Audi’s “The Challenge,” featuring the original and new Spock engaging in back-and-forth one-upsmanship, as well as Honda’s “The Sound of Honda/Ayrton Senna 1989,” a three-dimensional recreation of the famed driver’s then-record lap set on Suzuka Circuit, were also recognized as finalists in their own category.

Let us know which ad is your favorite, and stay tuned to hear about the winner, which will be announced in January during the 2014 Detroit auto show.

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