Fiat Strada 'handbuilt by robots' by Collett Dickenson Pearce

Hailed by many as the best commercial ever made, this spot was remarkable not just because it was the first to fill an entire News At Ten ad break but because it as based on a seemingly mundane idea - a car being assembled by robots.

Paul Weiland, then a Collett Dickenson Pearce writer, got the idea from some footage he’d seen on Tomorrow’s World and the rousing score from Rossini’s Figaro complemented the action perfectly.

Ironically, when the production team led by the director Hugh Hudson arrived at the Fiat factory in Turin to shoot the film they had to run a gauntlet of pickets and burning tyres lit by workers protesting about robots taking their jobs.

This ad was kindly supplied by the History of Advertising Trust from its Arrows Archive - a collection of every entry to The British Television Advertising Awards since 1977. The archive includes more than 25,000 TV commercials and counting.

Visit the Arrows Archive