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  • 11.19.14

Nissan Bought And Restored A Used 1996 Maxima For An Elaborate Joke

The carmaker takes a popular user-generated car ad parody to its branded extreme.

Nissan Bought And Restored A Used 1996 Maxima For An Elaborate Joke

As the digital age marketing mantra goes, your brand conversation is happening whether you’re a part of it or not. Last year, filmmaker Luke Aker wanted to sell his 1996 Nissan Maxima and decided to create an ad for it that took every over-the-top car commercial claim to its hyperbolic extreme. It was pretty damn good.

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So good, in fact, that Nissan decided to get in on the action itself. The brand actually bought Aker’s car–engine, wheels, automatic transmission and all. Not only that but Nissan then restored the 17-year-old Maxima to its full former glory and is putting on display in its North American headquarters. Is this taking a year-old joke too far? Maybe. Are we seeing the statute of limitations on a viral video pushed to its very edge of relevance? Perhaps.


It’s a valiant effort but any fan of hilariously fake car spots would be remiss not to point out that it took Volvo barely a month to enlist Christoffer Castor for some branded content gold. Nice try Nissan, but it’s no #LOLVO.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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