Unlike the majority of gamers who started off with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt on their original Nintendo Entertainment Systems, my first game was an action / driving game with a top-down view called Spy Hunter. It was frustratingly hard since there weren't any save points but it sure left a lasting impression.
Recently Pontiac aired a commercial where the Pontiac G8 GT takes over for the hero car after it's destroyed. Brilliant idea though I assume the target audience that would be receptive to the commercial might be small. The game is one of the most popular games on the NES but that's still a relatively small portion of the car-purchasing audience. Check this link for a behind the scenes look of the making of the commercial.