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Could #BuyMyBarina Be The Best Used Car Ad Ever?

Authors: Jessica Gioglio Jessica Gioglio
Posted Under: Social Media
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badge-image-of-the-weekIt’s rare to find a used car ad with a slick video, website, and dedicated social media campaign. Then again, if asked, owner David Johns might argue that there aren’t many used cars as special as his beloved 1999 Holden Barina.

With the help of his colleagues from Chimney in Sydney, Australia, Johns launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to “Buy My Barina” on July 13th. At press time, the video has 522,000 views and counting.

Also equally entertaining is the dedicated website,, which tells the larger story of the vehicle, including its history and features, in an easy-to-navigate slideshow type format.

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Both the video and website experience end with a call to action of, “Tweet me an offer,” with the hashtag #buymybarina. In under five days, Johns’ mission to sell his 1999 Barina has reached a global audience. Although Johns has reportedly received offers of $1,000 and $2,000 (double the asking price), part of the campaign’s appeal has become some of the wackier offers.

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So, what can you learn from this clever used car ad?

Storytelling Sells

With 188,000+ kilometers on the odometer, only three hubcaps and its share of dents and scratches, it’s unlikely that the car will sell on its features alone. The “Buy My Barina” website and video work together nicely to tell a humorous yet inspirational story around the vehicle that may help it command a higher asking price. Don’t believe the hype? The group behind have tested this theory by building a case study on how flea market finds commanded a higher price on eBay when accompanied by a moving story.

Rally Your Community Around a Relatable Goal

If sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo have taught us anything, it’s that people enjoy coming together to support a goal or cause. Selling a used car is a relatable endeavor and when combined with a humorous storyline, inspires both sharing and participation. Replicate this for your company by asking and researching what would motivate your social media community to get involved.

Approach Campaigns With Passion and Purpose

Taking a page from Ekaterina Walter’s book, “Think Like Zuck,” great leaders pursue their work with passion and purpose. One could argue the same should happen with a great social media campaign. In viewing the “Buy My Barina” video and website, it’s evident that this campaign has a strong sense of both passion and purpose. The team clearly had fun, while driving innovation to see how far this could go. In the end, the global response is inspiring to both individuals and companies what is possible when taking a different approach to social media selling. 

To quote the campaign, “Don’t just make history. Drive it.” There’s still time to tweet your offer with #buymybarina!

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