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Why CarMax paid $20,000 for 20-year-old Honda Accord

RICHMOND, Va. — Making good on a tongue-in-cheek offer – and cashing in on an unusual marketing opportunity – Richmond’s resident used-car retail giant has paid $20,000 for a 20-year-old car offered for sale in a parody ad that went viral on YouTube.

In a Twitter post Wednesday, CarMax thanked California-based writer-director Max Lanman, who created a phony ad for his girlfriend Carrie’s 1996 Honda Accord, for the car and other items the company received in exchange for the $20,000 offer it made in its own video response.

A photo posted with the tweet shows David Sloan, a creative director with CarMax’s ad agency McKinney and an alum of the VCU Brandcenter, with items from the video that were requested with the offer: Carrie’s passenger-seat coffeemaker, a Mexico-themed coffee mug, her jacket, a half-eaten sandwich, rear-window rubber duckies and a picture of the cat that rode shotgun in the ad.

Two weeks ago, Lanman posted the ad on his FulariousTV YouTube channel. The comical ad, which had reached nearly 6 million views by Thursday afternoon, presents the car, called “Greenie,” in dramatic new-car-commercial fashion complete with aerial seaside shots, symphonic music and big words boasting “141,095 miles” and “Starting at $499.”

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