This Hilariously Campy Fake Movie Trailer Is the Best Ad of 2016 That You Never Saw

The story of Robert Graham's 'Second Sound Barrier'

Headshot of Tim Nudd

In this last week before Christmas, we're catching up on a few ads from 2016 that slipped through the cracks. And foremost among the advertising films we didn't cover is this mini masterpiece from Moxie Pictures and the fashion brand Robert Graham—a wonderful fake trailer for a fake '70s-style car movie called The Second Sound Barrier.

The four-minute spot was written by Michael Showalter and directed by David Wain—the creative pair behind 2001's Wet Hot American Summer (they also worked together on the '90s MTV sketch comedy show The State). It's a brilliant, odd and hilarious parody of '70s action films, with Jeremy Sisto, Peter Mensah and Vincent Kartheiser trying to break "the second sound barrier"—a speed "beyond the limits that mankind has already pushed beyond." Juliette Lewis also plays a prominent role.

Check it out here:


The script is so wonderfully goofy. "​It had a sensibility that I always found appealing in Michael Showalter's writing," David Wain tells Adweek. "It reminded me of a sketch he wrote for The State back in the early '90s called 'Wildtown.' "

"​We just wanted to make our own amalgam of certain things we found funny and/or just cool in some of these also-ran racing movies from that era," Wain says. "The colors, the stilted dialogue, the character types."

The film was shot on modern cameras and treated later in post to give it a grainy, '70s feel. The video, posted in early March, has less than 10,000 YouTube views, but did pick up a Gold Clio in the Branded Entertainment category this fall.

"I'm not an advertising expert, nor do I have access to their research or numbers, but I'm hoping this ad made their sales skyrocket!" Wain says. 

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