CarMax creative account is up for review

Used-car retailer spent nearly $100 million in U.S. measured media in 2017

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CarMax Inc. dealership in Brandywine, Maryland
CarMax Inc. dealership in Brandywine, Maryland Credit: Hasan Sarbakhshian/Bloomberg

Used car retailer CarMax is test-driving new creative agencies.

The Richmond, Virginia-based company confirmed to Ad Age that it was reviewing its "advertising agency relationship." A spokeswoman for CarMax said McKinney, its current agency, is participating in the review.

Durham, North Carolina-based McKinney has worked with the brand since 2014. An agency representative couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

CarMax said it works with Vizeum as its media agency.

CarMax has more than 195 stores across the country, according to its website. The company spent an estimated $97.9 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2017, the most recent year for which full-year figures were available, according to Kantar Media.

With CarMax, McKinney's "Greenie" work — its response to a mock luxury ad for a couple's 1996 Honda Accord in 2017 — won a bronze Cannes Lion for real-time response in the "Social & Influencer" category. As bidding for the car on eBay skyrocketed, CarMax could only offer the Kelley Blue Book value to the couple, so made a video offerering much-inflated prices for each of the personal items shown in the video, like a cat and a sandwich, for a total of $20,000.

CarMax said in December it is piloting an "omnichannel" buying experience that lets customers purchase cars online or start the process at home and complete the purchase in-store.

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