Ford Puts Fiestas in the Hands of Tweeting Trendsetters
Ford’s Fiesta Movement put 100 young trendsetters behind the wheels of 100 Fiestas for six months. As part of a social media initiative, they received gas and insurance, test drove and “lived” with the car, traveling as “agents” on special “missions” who then related their experiences through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The missions were designed to be fun, take the agents to new places and let them experience new things, like training with U.S. Navy SEALS, hiking in the mountains, spending the day shadowing a stunt driver and learning to cook, um, with bugs, all while driving the European version of the Ford Fiesta and providing feedback to Ford on the product. And they all—especially Ford—lived to tell about it.
The Fiesta Movement took the car company into the realm of the ever-expanding social media space, a strategy that proved to be successful even before its official start. More than 4,000 applications were submitted by would-be agents, with more than 640,000 views of applicant videos on YouTube explaining why they would be the best representatives for the brand. Applicants cited online followers, blogging experience and even a thirst for adventure. Many were auto enthusiasts and all were comfortable sharing their opinions online.
Which they needed to be since the Fiesta Movement was aimed squarely at millennials who use social media daily and offered a prime opportunity for Ford to tap into a group that hasn’t yet established brand loyalty. According to a Microsoft study on millennials, each day 77 percent use Facebook, MySpace or other social networking sites.
The 100 chosen agents had established social networks with a strong web presence. Most had hundreds, if not thousands of Facebook friends. Most also had thousands of people following them on Twitter. After meeting their fellow agents at regional vehicle delivery days, a sense of friendly competition developed, turning the monthly video submissions into non-stop tweets, Facebook postings, Flickr photo uploads, blog posts and in some cases local TV interviews. But even more important, people were watching and paying attention, leaving comments, replying to videos, linking to content and praising Ford for taking a brave step into social media.
At the end of the six months, the agents gathered in Los Angeles for a post-event celebration where consumers could tune in and watch the 2011 Fiesta revealed on TV. The celebration was well deserved: those 100 agents created more than 50,000 pieces of original content, 212 million impressions on digital press and blogs, more than six million YouTube views, and four million impressions on Twitter.