Cool Job: Getting Paid to Test-Drive a Car
CNBC.com News Editor
Jason Sadler, a professional T-shirt wearer, just upped the cool factor for his job: He’s not only getting paid to get dressed in the morning, he’s getting paid to test-drive a new car and, like Oprah, give away free stuff.
Sadler, the founder of IWearYour Shirt.com, created a mini social-media empire — mid-recession, no less — where companies pay him to wear their T-shirts for a day, and then talk about the company Facebook, Twitter and in YouTube videos.
His cost-effective model has been a hit with small businesses in the past few years but now, the big guys are getting in on the act.
Nissan just gave Sadler, and his second shirt, Evan White, two of their new sports crossover vehicles, named the Juke, to drive around for a week and then work their social-media magic.
So, why would they pick two guys no one’s ever heard of, instead of a celebrity?
“It’s a vehicle that’s targeted well to their audience — the 18-to-34, younger male,” said Josh Clifton, the manager of product communications and social media for Nissan North America. That demographic responds to “the same passion points Jason and Evan hit on with comedy, lifestyle, gadgets, gaming, etc.,” he said.
“I found myself cracking up watching a few of their videos!” Clifton said.
Plus, they got a heckuva bang for their buck.
“They paid $500 for the day and $300 in giveaways,” Sadler explained. “So basically, they paid $800 to have two people who have an engaged community of 30,000 to 50,000 a day, talk about their product,” he said.
“What if one or two people go out and buy that car? The ROI [return on investment] on that is unbelievable.” he added.
In addition to the Tweets, Facebook posts and blog entries, Sadler did a hilarious video to promote the Juke. He puts on his Storm Trooper outfit, gets into the car and … Aw, forget it. Just watch the video:
That video already has almost 9,000 views, and it cost a lot less than a full-fledged television commercial. Plus, it’s still out there, racking up the clicks.
Sadler said he thinks having a fun, story-driven video packs a bigger punch, particularly with the young male demographic.
“I think you absolutely have to have that because it shows it’s cool,” Sadler explained. “It’s not cool if someone just stands in front of the car and talks about the features.”
Since the guys had the cars for a week, they actually used them in all of the videos they did for other companies that week.
“We got a little more out of it than most companies because we gave them a product to integrate,” Clifton said.
Kodak also recently hired I Wear Your Shirt to promote its new Play Touch touch-screen video camera at the BlogWorld trade show.
Sadler had been speaking at a conference, and when he finished, he passed by Kodak’s director of interactive marketing, who was up next.
“Mine’s going to be a lot more boring than that presentation!” Sadler recalls the director saying. Then, “Let’s get in touch. Let’s do something.”
So, Kodak hired Sadler and White to walk around BlogWorld handing out free Play Touch cameras to anyone who high-fived them, took a photo with them or Tweeted them.
“They’d high-five us and we’d hand them a camera and say, ‘Congratulations!’” Sadler explained.
Sadler said Kodak got more bang for their buck with the guys walking around and Tweeting about the camera than if they were just at a stationary booth.
It’s not just cameras and cars — Pizza Hut is also getting in on the I Wear Your Shirt act, having bought time on their T’s in early November.
The I Wear Your Shirt model has been so successful, Sadler has already hired two more full-time T-shirt wearers for 2011, and he’ll be hiring two more before the end of the year.
It’s the interaction with potential customers that’s key, Sadler explained.
“If Nissan pays someone $30,000, $50,000 to reply to inquiries every day — that’s thousands of people,” he said. “Then someone goes, ‘Holy crap! Nissan just talked to me. Nissan just retweeted my tweet!’”
On your mark. Get set. TWEET!
More on Cool Jobs:
- Now Hiring: Professional T-Shirt Wearers
- Internet Star Turns Viral Video Fame Into Big Business
- Six Cool Places to Work
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