Ad agencies struggle to convince clients to pay for creativity, mostly because we gave it away for years, trusting television’s healthy margins to more than cover the cost of development. And so we inadvertently devalued our industry’s one core asset that spans medium and format: the idea.
Which is why it’s so fun to hear the story of Max Lanman, who recently decided to help his girlfriend sell her car online. Actually, he used her old Honda to produce his idea of making a luxury car commercial around a junky car. Her vehicle was one of a whopping 382,298 Accords produced in 1996, but now, twenty one years and 141,000 miles later, her “Greenie” shows its age…
The thing is, this spot’s fun but not especially hilarious. A similar used car ad spoof featured on this blog back in May used outsized visual effects to far more hysterical effect. Yet the simple fact that Max took the time, made the effort, and did something delightfully unexpected in a tired, uninspiring venues made his work shine.
It also paid off handsomely. Kelley’s Blue Book values the Honda at just over $1400. After posting the spot on YouTube last Thursday, Max and his girlfriend listed the Accord on eBay for $500.
By the weekend, the bidding hit $150,000, and eBay took the listing down, understandably concerned about “illegitimate bidding.”
Now it’s back up and bidding currently hovers around $4300: almost ten times their initial asking price and well above the Blue Book value. All because of Max’s creative idea and approach.
eBay also released this statement: “Mr. Lanman is a talented filmmaker and we’re pleased that the eBay platform brought us together. We’re hoping to work on some creative video projects with him in the future.”
Wow. Nice work Max. Well played.