YouTube for Truck Driver Recruitment: Sexist or Smart? (Or Both?)

YouTube

The trucking industry was not one of the first verticals to get behind internet marketing, but they’re starting to make up for it in a big way.  It’s one that we follow closely as we have several clients and do speaking engagements for groups and conferences in this niche.  That’s why I was glad I clicked on a cryptic tweet that sent me to a YouTube video for a trucking company called J Rayl Transport out of Akron, OH. The video – and the channel J Rayl created for it and another video – are used exclusively for truck driver recruitment.  It’s…well, just watch and then take our poll to let us know what you think of it.

So what say you?  There is a spot for you to enter your own answer if the three below don’t capture it, or you can expound in the comments.

Very curious what everyone thinks, especially our branding friends and truck dealers.  Here’s what’s spinning around in my head:

  • Not GoDaddy.  I abhor GoDaddy commercials (and no, I will not link out to their YouTube channel – if you’ve watched the SuperBowl any of the last few years, you’ve seen one).  Even though they have made attempts in some of their videos to poke fun at the stereotype, they’re just completely sexist.  What’s more, it’s like they have no understanding of their audience, which is virtually everyone.  For argument’s sake, let’s assume all straight guys like their commercials (incorrect) and that there is some skew in their potential customer market (not sure).  They’re still at best ignoring about half their market, and at worst, alienating them.  Granted I’m not the demographic that could be innately offended, but this truck driver recruiting video strikes me as more silly / less offensive and, especially, having a better understanding of their target demographic.

 

  • whos the bossWho’s the Boss? If I were a superhero, my special power would be being able to make analogies to any real-life situation from 80s sitcoms.  This reminds me of the time Tony took a class on marketing and wowed his professor by using some cheesecake in a commercial for laundry detergent.  Angela – an advertising exec – didn’t like the commercial, which Tony thought was because she was female (which might have been true).  What she pointed out, however, is that she didn’t like it because Tony didn’t understand his target market.  He liked the video and he did laundry, so he thought it would be successful.  However, women usually make the decisions on buying detergent than men.   Lesson learned and they all lived wackily ever after.  (If I  missed some details, cut me some slack – this is straight from memory for a show I haven’t seen in 15 or 20 years.)  Again, this isn’t the case with J Rayl.  They are part of their demographic – heck, they probably had 15 employees volunteer to do the casting – and aren’t missing the boat.

 

  • Good for the Brand? Here’s a point deserving close scrutiny. A company shouldn’t engage in a marketing campaign that could hurt its brand even if it is excellently targeted for a specific initiative.  It’s on the internet, making it eternal and eminently accessible.  Based on their other YouTube recruiting video (on Humpty Dumpty – no “melons”), it seems like they’re going for a cheeky/parody-like tone that I think is probably okay.  Also, even though I don’t know their specific customers, I’m guessing it’s not going to set anyone off.  It just doesn’t seem worse than any of the beer commercials you’d see on tv while watching sports, and much better than some of the really offensive ones like the Miller Lite catfight from a few years back.  I know some people that refused to buy Miller Lite after that, just as some bar associations were asking for a boycott on a beer (Miller Lite again?) that ran a series of commercials making fun of attorneys.

Alright, sound off!

Note Bene: My favorite part of the commercial?  The eye roll at the end.

Justin Seibert

About The Author

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, Advertising Age, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

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