An '80s film cliche gets new life in this year's Super Bowl spot from online auto retailer Car Max, created out of Silver + Partners and directed by Harold Einstein. The ad begins with a satisfied customer telling a CarMax agent how grateful he is for having started his auto search at the retailer. The agent responds by whipping out his hands and clapping--very, very slowly. Others around the neighborhood, from the quarterback and the cheerleader, to the mailman, to the pie-eating contest gorger -- follow suit. It's the sort of montage that you'd seen those uplifting athletic underdog films from the '80s like "Rudy," when the whole world bands together to support an unlikely hero. And, it turns out, Sean Astin, who played the title character in the flick, makes a clapping cameo in the spot as well.
But that's not all for CarMax. Picking up on another cliche, the advertiser turns to puppies for an online component, in which it recreates the entire film with dogs. The puppy version was directed by Ronnie Koff at
CarMax hasn't advertised in the Super Bowl since 2011, when it featured two spots, including this silly take on similes. Those ads were created out of Amalgamated, which later rebranded to become Silver + Partners.