In an aggressive social media program that goes far beyond what Ford has done in the past, the manufacturer is partly counting on members of the public to introduce its new Fiesta model to 20-somethings across the US.
Ford recently handed 100 Fiestas to 100 web fanatics in the target demographic, selected from over 4,000 applicants. These ‘agents‘ get to use the cars for six months in exchange for completing monthly ‘missions‘ with different themes. They’ll share their experiences through YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter accounts Ford created for the campaign. Ford have asked the users to be completely honest in their reviews, showing that Ford has unswerving faith in the product.
Ford’s point-of-view about the campaign: “We realized that the message is increasingly out of our control and that we have to roll with it,” Fiesta product manager Sam De La Garza said. “For us it all rests on the quality of this product. We’ve all driven the Fiesta, and we felt so confident about the car that we could start this. We’re going to allow people to tell the story [of the Fiesta] from their lives.”
While it doesn’t replace the millions of dollars of ‘traditional media’ launch expenditure Ford will still spend, it provides an extra layer of interaction with their audience, which is a brave move that must be applauded. If marketeers for any brand have enough belief in the product/service they are selling, why not engage in conversation with the people who will ultimately be purchasing (or not purchasing) it?
The campaign commences April 21st.