OAK LAWN, Illinois — Oak Lawn Toyota's Internet Sales Manager, Joe Mallet, is a young guy who has a young guy's fondness for pop culture and social media. That has paid off for the dealership in suburban Chicago, now that its homepage and YouTube channel are posting a popular — and funny — music video starring Mallet and a friend, shot in and around the dealership. Posted two weeks ago, it already has more than 65,000 views on YouTube.
Oak Lawn Toyota is tying in a "keys in a box" marketing program and prominently displays the music video on the dealership home page.
"We were brainstorming some ideas for holiday marketing," Mallet told Edmunds.
He and marketing consultant Joe Webb agreed on the brilliance of making this music video, which riffs off a satirical song made popular by Justin Timberlake. Webb thought of it first and "mentioned this idea to some other dealers, but they didn't know how to go about getting it produced," Mallet said.
Fortunately, Mallet recruited some friends to keep from making it the kind of video that "makes you cringe." Mallet wrote the lyrics and performs in the video — he's the guy with the short hair and the pink shirt — and he somehow got a friend, high school English teacher Parker Gadbois, to co-star.
"His students think he's the coolest guy," Mallet said.
Add a few other buddies, sound engineer and musician Rico Vigil and his associate, Augie Rampolla, and the team was complete.
"We filmed it on a Sunday while the dealership was closed," Mallet said. "It was a pleasure to work on."
Customers are overwhelmingly positive about the video, he said.
"We've had some who say they came" to Oak Lawn Toyota to shop "specifically because the humor catches them off guard. It makes them realize we're human over here, I guess."
Mallet is already thinking about the next video he'll come up with. When asked how his bosses feel about his budding music-video stardom, he told Edmunds, "This is probably just what they expected from me when they hired me."
Edmunds says: Good production values, a clever idea, and a smart employee: all the ingredients for a dealership viral marketing program.