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Brief Published: 27 May 2015

Warner Brothers’ Dusty Car Wash

To promote the new instalment in its classic post-apocalyptic Mad Max film series, Warner Brothers Pictures Canada set up a very special car wash in a vacant lot in downtown Toronto.

Channelling the spirit of Mad Max's fictional universe – where high-speed motor chases across the wasteland form a centrepiece of the storyline – Canadian agency Lowe Roche brought the Dusty Car Wash to life with pyrotechnics, smoke and scrap metal wreckage.

Bare-chested 'apocalypse survivors' were on hand to turn fans' cars into conflict-worn desert vehicles with just the right amount of artificial dust, rust and sand. Clean urban cars lined up down the street to participate in the casual cosplay idea.

Following a good coating, the newly grime-encrusted vehicles became canvasses for Mad Max: Fury Road branding and the release date, which were etched into the dust – effectively turning the cars into roving billboards for the new release.

Before fans drove off, they were provided with gas station gift cards – presumably to cover the cost of a more traditional car wash once the novelty of the apocalyptic aesthetic has worn off.

Professionals are picking up on the audience impact of quick, imperfect, but highly shareable marketing experiences. For more on this surfacing trend, see our coverage of the AdAge Digital Conference and Advertising Week Europe.

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