3 PR and marketing lessons from CarMax’s answer to viral video

The used-car retailer recently used YouTube to grab its the spotlight after a filmmaker’s humorous attempt to sell his partner’s car made waves online.

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What started as an idea to satirically advertise his girlfriend’s car turned into marketing gold.

On Nov. 2, Max Lanman posted a YouTube video advertising the 1996 Honda Accord that his then-girlfriend (now fiancée), Carrie Hollenbeck owned. Lanman used car commercials’ serious tone for his mock ad’s inspiration, and the video has racked up more than 5.95 million views:

A week later, CarMax responded with its own YouTube video, offering Hollenbeck $20,000 for her car—along with a few other items featured in the video:

Lanman reported that Hollenbeck took CarMax’s offer:

THANK YOU, INTERNET! After a wild couple of weeks, Carrie finally said her goodbyes to her beloved Greenie, the used 1996 Honda Accord. We had a small get-together with the team who put her on the map to celebrate the commercial and to send Greenie off in style. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GU0hnEbgLv

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