Daniel Macdonald has amassed millions of followers on TikTok and even more millions of views on YouTube by asking people in cool cars what they do for a living.
The content creator — I refuse to write influencer — has enjoyed success on many platforms by approaching drivers in noteworthy autos (that means expensive) and asking drivers what they do for a living. The videos recall Conner O’Malley’s vines, though they are less aggressive.
Macdonald will sometimes follow up by asking drivers if they went to college, or he’ll ask another question that builds off the first. I am admittedly a little irked because the entire premise traces to a kind of voyeurism about wealth, emphasizing an individual’s net worth rather than what may be interesting about the car.
He may as well be asking that very question immediately after the first one anyway, given the attention the videos place on the car’s price, which Macdonald displays in the video to inform and/or impress viewers.
I know this might reek of anachronistic ideas about things we never ask people, such as a man’s salary or a woman’s age, but I promise this is more about the cars. Or more to the point, it’s about the brief interviews failing to make it about the cars.
I don’t see much harm in flagging down someone and asking about their cool car, but asking someone about their livelihood and whether they have a college education feels intrusive. And if you watch the videos, you might notice some of the drivers seem to think so, too.
Many look as if they’re caught off guard by the questions, and though they eventually come around they will often disregard the question by giving joke responses or misleading answers.
Macdonald will then ask again, and he mostly succeeds in getting an answer. If I had to guess, I would say drivers engage because they expect him to ask about the car at some point, but that usually doesn’t happen.
Thankfully, the exchanges are brief and seem to transpire over a matter of seconds, usually ending as Macdonald compliments folks and walks away. But that just highlights the brevity of it all and its focus on money, not cars.
And some of these have to be staged, right? I just can’t imagine that many drivers are rolling around in their cars with the windows down. Who are all these a/c haters?
If you’re eager to know, watch a few of the videos. Apparently, they’re folks from all walks of life, from strippers to middle-school teachers to Only Fans executives. Some have been to college and others have not. And there’s at least one pithy older woman who suffers no fools.