This Automaker Lets You Buy Its Latest Vehicle With YouTube Views

Just film your test drive, and make it go viral

Headshot of Tim Nudd

YouTube views are a valued currency for many advertisers. And now, J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam is turning them into an actual currency—convincing automaker client Opel to accept views of viral videos involving its vehicles as payment for them.

It works like this: Consumers are encouraged to create videos of Opel’s new “Online Edition” while loaning the vehicle for a test drive. (Please don’t film while driving, though.) Then, they can upload them to YouTube—and if the video goes viral, which of course gives the car huge exposure, Opel will accept the views in lieu of cash as payment.

Three versions of the Online Edition are for sale. You can see from the prices below that Opel is deeming 40 YouTube views to be worth €1.

• The Karl Rocks Online Edition (€14,747) costs 589,900 YouTube views
• The Corsa Online Edition (€18,490) costs 739,600 YouTube views
• The Astra Online Edition (€23,070) costs 922,800 YouTube views

Here’s the case study:

It’s a clever way of hacking the monetary value of YouTube views, and it also, of course, encourages creativity among the automaker’s target market. YouTube itself calls it “a world’s first,” and JWT says the campaign “is already so successful in the Netherlands that Opel is looking to roll it out across Europe.”

Exact metrics are not clear, but JWT does say that at least one Dutchman, Yuri Schuurkes, was able to buy a new Opel Astra with YouTube views. His goofy video below, in which he dresses up as Spider-Man for his test drive, has gotten 5.2 million views and counting. (That would seem to be good enough to buy five Opel Astras, though the automaker presumably limits it to one.)


@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.