Ford promotes new Fiesta with social media


They are witty, irreverent and adventurous. They’re technologically adept, socially outgoing and more than happy to share their opinions on all sorts of topics through social media outlets ranging from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube.

They are Ford’s newest agents of change – the chosen participants in the company’s new Fiesta Movement, a platform designed to generate excitement about the highly anticipated Ford Fiesta, the new fuel-efficient small car that brings its style and substance to the U.S. next year.

As part of social media initiative, 100 young trendsetters will test drive and “live” with a Fiesta for six months, traveling as “agents” on special “missions,” who will then relate their experiences through a variety of social media sites.

The missions are designed to be fun, take the agents to new places and let them experience new things – all while driving the new European Ford Fiesta and providing feedback to Ford on the product.

The Fiesta Movement deliberately takes Ford into the realm of the ever-expanding social media Web. Social media has proved to be successful for Fiesta even before its official start. More than 4,000 applications were submitted, with an excess of 640,000 views of applicant videos on YouTube. The Ford Fiesta also is gaining attention on Facebook and Twitter, with more than 300 fans on the Fiesta Movement Facebook fan page and more than 600 followers on the @FordFiesta Twitter account.

“We got a tremendous response from consumers, a lot of exciting people decided to apply,” said Sam De La Garza, small car marketing manager. “Choosing the 100 agents is a critical step in the movement, pulling us one step closer to getting people in the vehicles.”

The Fiesta Movement campaign is squarely aimed at Millennials, the next-generation consumer group born between 1979 and 1995. These consumers, which will total 70 million drivers by 2010, use social media daily and offer a prime opportunity for Ford to tap into a group that hasn’t yet established brand loyalty. According to statistics from a Microsoft study on Millennials, each day 77 percent use Facebook, MySpace or other social networking sites and 28 percent access a personal blog.

The agents applied online, posting short videos on YouTube explaining why they would be the best representative agents for the Fiesta Movement. Applicants from all over the country cited online followers, blogging experience and even a thirst for adventure. Many are automotive enthusiasts; all are extremely comfortable sharing their opinions online.

“Our group of agents is a broad cross section of people from across the country who are active in all areas of the social media space,” said Connie Fontaine, Ford’s brand content and alliances manager. “It’s a strong team across social networks that are geographically and occupationally diverse.”

Partnering with Ford on its campaign is Undercurrent, a digital think tank headquartered in New York City, and AMG, a Colorado-based partner of Undercurrrent.