The Most Popular Car Commercial Set Locations

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If you watch just about any program on TV, you’re sure to encounter two things: commercials for car insurance and cars. Both can feature high-profile celebrities, and many car commercials tend to feature beautiful scenery and gorgeous roadways that might leave you wondering where they were filmed. Or, maybe you’ve noticed that some locations featured ads for different cars look pretty similar?
If so, you have a good eye, because there are a number of popular set locations that are commonly used for car commercials. Perhaps unsurprisingly, lots of them are in California—hub of the American film industry and brimming with beautiful architecture and picturesque vistas.
Let’s take a look at three of the most popular locations used for car commercials, as reported by Car and Driver.
Driving along the Pacific Coast Highway, with the ocean to the right and cliffs to the left
The Pacific Coast Highway is a long and beautiful stretch of west coast road that has proved popular for car commercials.

The Second Street Tunnel is seen in car commercials and in movies

Unless you have lived in Los Angeles, you might not have heard of this tunnel by name. But you almost certainly have seen it in car commercials and movies. It has been described as “the most recognizable city landmark most Americans have never heard of,” by the Los Angeles Times via Car and Driver.
Filming a car commercial requires a mastery of light usage. After all, cars tend to be quite reflective. This quarter-mile-long tunnel is a dream for any director of photography. The interior is reflective, providing a sleek and shiny look for car ads.
According to Car and Driver, at least 73 car commercials have been filmed here. It is located in downtown Los Angeles, making it proximal for filming at other iconic locations such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is just a few blocks away. It has also been a popular set for movies, with Totally LA noting that the tunnel has featured in such movies as The Terminator, Flashdance, and Independence Day.

The Pacific Coast Highway is an idyllic car commercial set location

The Pacific Coast Highway is arguably the most beautiful highway in the world. It stretches from San Diego all the way to Seattle. True to its name, it is nestled along the coast for most of its length. Its beauty makes it a huge attraction for tourists, and there are countless travel blogs that recommend a trip along the PCH, as locals tend to call it.
As such, it is also a popular filming location for car commercials. Most of the commercials are filmed just north of Los Angeles. This portion of the highway boasts winding roads with dramatic cliffs on the east and a shoreline on the west, which looks out onto some gorgeous sunsets that often make their way into commercials.

Luxury settings abound in Sonoma wine country

A car commercial’s set location is often a reflection of the car itself. With its seemingly-endless green rolling hills and stunningly attractive vineyards, Sonoma wine country is the perfect backdrop for luxury cars.
The suburban areas of Sonoma are also idyllic for car commercials. The neighborhoods tend to be well-kept and present a visually pleasing aesthetic. However, some creators of car commercials do tend to steer clear of the more affluent neighborhoods of Sonoma, as this could ostensibly weaken their connection to wider audiences.
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