When you make a short film that’s designed to poke a little fun at the marketing strategy of the maker of a certain car, it’s got to come as quite a surprise when that automaker is the one to step in and support your endeavor.
It was surely a surreal moment for Luke Aker when Nissan contacted him. He had made a short film about his 1996 Nissan Maxima as a funny way to promote it after he offered it for sale on Craigslist.
The film features various close-ups of the car, looking quite derelict: torn interior, ripped bumper and a strap holding the hood in place. This contrasts with the voiceover describing the car—in a low, quiet, serious tone—as luxurious.
The video went viral, racking up 200,000 views in the first week. Eventually, someone at Nissan saw it and the automaker contacted Aker to make an offer. Certainly, he first thought someone was pranking him.
Nissan not only purchased the car from Luke, the company also donated $1,000 to his charity of choice. As if that wasn’t enough, Nissan went on to fix up the car, now known as the Craigslist Maxima, and give it back to Luke.