“Car Commercial 419”: Adam McKay Strikes Again With Sendup Of Classic Car Ads Viewed Through The Lens Of Climate Change

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winner Adam McKay is at it again.

In 2022, McKay quietly posted a devastating faux Chevron ad that laid bare the irony of oil companies positioning themselves as environmental stewards. It went on to garner more than 11 million views.

Now, McKay and his long-time editor Hank Corwin (The Big Short, Vice, Don’t Look Up) have created “Car Commercial 419,” a sendup of the golden age of automobile ads for the era of climate change.

The spot consists almost entirely of car commercial clips dating back to the 1950s. McKay and Corwin spent months sifting through ads and stock footage, which Corwin then edited. Nicholas Britell contributed music. His track “Memento Mori,” originally written and performed by Britell for Don’t Look Up, is provided courtesy of Netflix Music LLC.

“Everyone knows the car has a mythic place in America. Cars equal independence, adventure, success and on and on. But at some point in the past 18 months I kept seeing footage of cars in a way I had never seen before,” said McKay in a statement to Deadline. “So I called my editor Hank Corwin and we made this short or collage or whatever you want to call it. Make of it what you will but for me it’s about how our new climate is already changing what things mean.”

The spot was produced through McKay’s non-profit Yellow Dot Studios, which creates “entertaining, memorable, and scientifically accurate videos and other media to challenge decades of disinformation pushed by oil companies and amplified by large swaths of elected leaders and the media.” Yellow Dot’s Staci Roberts-Steele served as producer. Watch it below.

Previous videos that McKay and Yellow Dot produced have gone viral with millions of views, including the spoof Chevron ad, Rainn Wilson’s “A Tale of Fire and Ice” (2.5M views), Tim Robinson’s “You Expect Me to Believe That” (3.4M views).

McKay is, of course, a prolific writer, producer and the director of films such as Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Big Short (for which he and Charles Randolph won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar), Vice and Don’t Look Up.

Deadline reported exclusively in December that McKay plans to make his next directorial project a climate-related one.