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Carmax turns test drives into best drives.

CarMax believes in making every part of buying a used car the best it can be – even the test drive part. So we stepped it up and sent 10 lucky drivers on a best drive. They had their pick of any car on the lot – from convertibles to SUVs and let them hit the road to a dream destination. This contest ran in the underperforming markets of Portland, OR, Madison, WI and Spokane, WA. 

“CarMax prides itself on being a good neighbor in the communities in which our associates live and work. This is our way of thanking the city of Portland for welcoming us, and it gives us a chance to share more about who we are.

– Torrey Moore, General Manager of Clackamas Carmax

Print Ads & Advertorials

We collaborated with alt weekly publications and their creative teams to create a series of advertorials in the contest markets. The advertorials, inspired drivers to find the perfect vehicle at CarMax and take a "best drive" to their favorite destination. A print ad introducing the contest accompanied the advertorials. 

Illustrations by Leo Zarosinski for The Portland Mercury

Best Drives Site

Visitors to the site were greeted with a looping video as if they were the driver behind the wheel. To keep it simple as possible, we provided visual instructions in three easy steps – pick a destination, pick a car and enter their information so they could enter once a week. Once a car and destination were chosen, they were instructed to name their Best Drive. They could give it their own unique name or they could use the drop down menu to choose a prewritten name. Once, their information was received, we generated a visual entry confirmation that they could share on social media.  

Contest Results

Even for a limited-market contest, wannabe best drivers shared their entries in droves on social media. CarMax saw the program as a very successful way to reinvigorate underperforming markets and plans to roll out the Your Best Drive contest in other markets.  

ACD/Art Director: J.D. Humphreys

Copywriter: Robyn Gunn, Aaron Gough, Dylan Meagher
Creative Director: Philip Marchington

ECD: Jonathan Cude

Print Producer: Suzanne Moore

Project Management: Michelle Odgers, Nicole Helmer, Gillian McBrayer

Studio: Chelsie Irby, Tomas Antona, Beth McKnight

Art Buyer: Stephanie Witchger

Agency: McKinney, Durham

Client: CarMax

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