This Is How We Do It

by Meredith on October 9, 2012

We’re naming the band, The Donna Martin Experience. Congrats, Crystal!

***

Probably the best day ever, was the day I hired this guy named, Mike. I picked Mike right out of a class I was teaching at a local college. I was talking to the students about social media and what I look at before I hire them. One by one, I called on students, and told them exactly what my brain thought of them, based on their Facebook profile. I do this because I want to help these kids find jobs, and I don’t want their online profile to hold them back.

Mike happened to be sitting in class, and when I got to him, he visibly cringed. I could tell his head was spinning. What would I say about him?

But what Mike didn’t know, was that I had already weeded through his online profiles, I knew he was a visual arts student who would soon graduate, I knew he was in the National Guard, and I knew he had a photography business on the side.

I made Mike a job offer, right there in class, in front of the other students, and told them all it was because he had the most professional looking Facebook profile. Which? I mean, that wasn’t really the case at all, but it sent a message to the students to clean up their acts.

In all honesty, I hired Mike because I knew I would have someone on staff who would make silly YouTube videos with us, and these silly YouTube videos would make work feel less like work and more like fun, and sometimes they would go viral (like the Meet the Staff video), thus becoming a really inexpensive way to advertise and set our dealership apart.

Basically I hired Mike so I had someone to play with all day. In a totally creative way, of course.

I tell HR people all the time that they have to stop being the social media police. Go get yourselves a Mike.

Embrace it, accept it, and realize that social media is here to stay. When stuffy HR people do these things, and allow employees become ultra creative, greatness happens.

This is our Meet the Staff video:

We built new offices, and the boys felt like caged animals:

And we feel it’s our duty to prepare humanity for the upcoming zombie apocalypse:

I’ve never been really open about my exact work location, I guess out of fear that someone would stalk me online, find me at work, and then rape me.

I have an irrational fear of being raped by a stalker at work. And also wearing tampons.

Now that my exact work location is now obvious, please don’t show up and rape me. While Mike is super creative and awesome with a camera, I’m not sure if he can fight off internet stalkers.

We’d like to start working on a series of videos about awkward test drives. For example, what if you were on a test drive, and you thought the customer was a bank robber or a hit man?

This is where you come in… help us think of creative and funny test drive videos. If we pick your idea, we’ll send you a $25 gas card! WOO-HOO!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal

This pretty much made my day. “The Donna Martin Experience” for the win!

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Meredith

You pretty much made our day. And anyone that doesn’t get the reference, probably wouldn’t like our band.

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Rae Ann

Seriously, these are awesome! Your occupational home sounds like paradise. You must be doing something right.

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Jessica

I’m normally just a quiet reader here, but I have to say that I would totally buy a car from you based on those videos! They’re the most fabulous car ads I’ve ever seen! (Although where I live there is only 1 dealer in town and he features HIMSELF in every.single.commercial, usually posing with half naked models…)
I had a question about hiring using social media- I am currently on the job market and have made my Facebook profile visible only to friends. (There’s nothing too scandalous, but the occasional tagged photo from a bachelorette party will come up so I figured I should keep those drunken nights under wraps.) Does this raise red flags to you as a recruiter? I have a LinkedIn account that is public, but it sounds like you do more recruiting from Facebook? Sorry this question got way long but it did make me think!
Thanks for the great videos!

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Meredith

Okay, I recruit from Facebook, and if you’re completely private, you won’t even show up in my searches. So lock everything down EXCEPT your job title and where you work. Leave that open. Because who knows? Maybe I would call you and offer you a better job!

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Jessica

Thank you!

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Regan

Personally, I think it would be awkward if your customer had narcolepsy. He’d keep falling asleep at the wheel (ala Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation) but when awakened, not realize he’d been asleep. One minute you look over and he’s asleep, but by the time you take a second look, he’s alert and signaling left.

Do you confront him? Was he really asleep??? ARE YOU LOSING YOUR MIND???

Just a thought. ;)

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Meredith

I LOVE THAT!

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Stephanie

I now must have a Zombie Toureg..just saying. I think this would also be awesome for the local Craigslist “Preppers” groups to haul their 20 years worth of protein powder from the local BJs Foods.

I would think asking your local driver’s ed teacher to come test drive to check out your salemen’s mad driving skills would be an interesting “punk’d” idea.. especially if he was like the driver’s ed teacher from my little town that had been doing since Model Ts were around.

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Meredith

OMG! YES! Hahaha!

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Jasmine Robertson

These were great!! What an awesome hire!! Who wouldn’t want to work with you guys?

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Jennifer

You posted something on Facebook the other day from a blog someone that you work with writes about not running the fuel tank empty on your car. I think it was you anyway. Thanks for that. I do that ALL the time. The post was really informative and easy to understand and from now own I will be filling up at the quarter tank mark.

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Erica

Ok this is actually a true freaking story. A few years back before my Husband and I bought our current car we went to about a handful of dealerships to check out all of the differnt crossover’s on the market. My Husband grew up in this small town right on a major freeway and they have an auto mall with all different companies represented and it was natural for us to check it out.

Fast forward we end up on a test drive of a Honda CRV (we didn’t get it as the 4 cylinder version had no power) the dealership employee asked us if we were from around there etc. I think we found out that we had known someone in common back in HS and he told me the guy was like a back influence on him or that he died or something. I know it seems like that would be a detail I would remember except right AFTER the guy starts talking about how he did METH with that guy one time and how evil it was and how it “made him feel like the devil was inside of him.” I could curse that freaking lawnmower car more in my head and we made our way back to the dealership. I was like get me out of this damn car. I was glad to see the guy had clearly not done it again and made something of himself (he shared a picture of his family) but damn telling someone you felt like the devil was inside you is a damn good way to clear out your car.

On a more personal note the CRV’s have crazy room inside if only they would make them with some power!

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Wendy Davis

Ok this is so wrong but what if someone came in with a “little person” and wanted to do a test drive with them in their lap to steer so they could see if they wanted the car altered for them …. Probably not good for company publicity but I laugh picturing it.

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Erin

These videos are great!

Since you’re looking for new ideas, I would suggest doing a send-up to the guys on Top Gear, like doing a re-creation of one of their simpler segments, or coming up with your ‘segment” but do it in Top Gear style. Bonus points if you feature car salesmen that resemble the hosts on Top Gear. And you could call is EdSchmidt Gear or something like that. And the great thing about his is that you don’t have to limit this to just one video if it works well, you can do multiple videos.
http://www.history.com/shows/top-gear

Another cool thing to do would be similar thing, but with NPR’s Car Talk. Bonus points if you have any wacky old guys from Boston on your staff.
http://www.cartalk.com/

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ShunkyDave

How about a couple taking a mini van for a test drive, and her water breaks in the back seat. Obviously for the sake of drama, she immediately has intense contractions, and it’s clear the baby is coming RIGHT NOW (think of average movie drama, not real life)

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Kellie

Awkward test drive ideas:
Clowns – work a clown car bit into it.
Shriners – they want a test drive but cant find a car with good fez clearance
Someone who’s always right, says “right, right” alot and won’t take left hand turns.
Someone with a horrible cold – keeps coughing and sneezing – could be a PSA for hand sanitizer use in the comine cold & flu season.

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