South Africa’s Top 7 Most Memorable Car Commercials

We all have our favourite commercials that we remember from yesteryear. If you are asked to name a few, we are sure that some old familiars would pop up. Famous ad’s like the Cremora; “It’s not inside, it’s on top”, the Lunchbar ad, and, of course, anything produced by the Nando’s team. We thought we would put together our top seven car commercials. How many do you remember?

1. David Kramer: Volksiebus (1980)

Let’s kick off with these old 80’s classics. Volkswagen released a series of adverts featuring the legendary singer-songwriter, David Kramer. They were created by combining his comical lyrical rhyming, country guitar strumming, and stories of how Volksiebuses got him out of tricky situations. These adverts are not only wonderfully nostalgic, but are a good giggle too. This one in particular is particularly endearing, as it tells a story of Kramers bike and guitar being stolen and him and the station manager chasing them in a Volksiebus. We are quite sure that the combi could never take the kind of abuse shown in the video, but we still love it anyway. 

2. Sasol: Glug Glug (1999)

The two unforgettable commercials by Sasol were certainly the first ad’s that we thought of. Their “Glug Glug” campaign became embedded in national culture after the release of these two adverts. Who, from this generation will forget the adorable baby staring up at his grandparents and uttering his first words “Glug Glug, Sasol”. Or the second, a small child pretending to fill up his toy car with petrol and his screeching off in plumes of smoke, while a surprised dog looks on.

3. Continental Tyres: Driving On a Roof (1992)

Although this was an advert for tyres, we simply had to include it in the list. Who could forget sitting on the edge of the couch, watching the car tear around an open rooftop with nothing to protect it from falling off. It’s sudden, almost-too-late breaking and high-speed turns on the edge of death had most viewers in an absolute sweat, watching the stunt driving madness. It proved a great point, though, and certainly goes down as a top commercial in our books.

4. Fiat Palio Vs. Cyclist (2000)

Fiat hit the funny bone right on the good spot with this classic advert. Touching on the universal struggle between cyclist and car, Fiat hilariously created an advert that had viewers in stitches. As the Fiat reverses, letting the cyclist fall off his bike, a sense of resounding karma is felt.

5. Toyota Hilux: Buddy (2009) 

“Help me, help me, I’m stuck in a hole, I’m a stuck sheep.” Buddy the dog with the human mouth blasted onto screens in a series of hilarious Hilux ads. The first, featured here, was certainly the most memorable with sheep puns littered throughout the advert. What a chop.

6. Corsa Lite: The Lite Side Of Life (2005)

Who could ever forget the awesome duo Raj1 and Raj2. Their side-splitting antics carried through the entire Lite series making everything from Wellingtons Day to Kissmis in July famous. Our favourite, shows the duo trying to make more bucks with Sanchez the Kudu and Peggy the buck to buy the Corsa Lite. The tongue-in-cheek references and quick wit makes this a definite chart topper for this list.

7. Volkswagen Toureg: Another Universe (2006)

A step away from the comical ads, this advert crept into our hearts and tugged at the heart-strings. It shows a man trying to reach his teenage son by taking him on a road trip into the Karoo. You can’t help but get goosebumps as Arno Carstens croons his hit “Another Universe” as the father eventually connects with the teenager.


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