To launch the 2011 Ford Fiesta, a new version of the subcompact car, Ford is using a year-long experiential marketing campaign called Fiesta Movement.Â Ford interviewed over 1,000 hopefuls to award 100 of them keys to their own new Ford Fiesta for six months.Â They will complete “missions” which will involve using the cars in different ways and “lifestream” the results over social media.Â In parallel and during the week of the New York Auto Show’s opening, Ford invited key Twitters and Bloggers to test-drive a 2009 Euro-spec Ford Fiesta, which will is the car that the U.S. 2011 model will be based on.
Ford hired Crayon social media guru Scott Monty to run its social marketing programs and he has put together a clever offering for the Fiesta.Â Ford realized that a significant portion of subcompact sales (particularly of hot models like the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa) are clustered in five key cities around the U.S.Â This made a social networking strategy viable for the brand launch of the new Fiesta. The Fiesta occupies a key market niche for Ford, one which has been long dominated by Japanese brands and is led by the Honda Fit.Â The 2011 Fiesta will bring a Euro-sensibility to the small car niche as the design will be brought over from the model currently on sale in Europe.Â Ford is following a classic influencer model on one end, with activities like blogger/twitterer test drives conducted around the time of major Auto Shows.Â At the same time, the Fiesta Movement offers both the chance for word-of-mouth marketing and consumer generated advertising similar to the Nissan Sentra launch where blogger Adam Horowitz was challenged to live out of the car for a week.
The targeting and the social networking make this launch a good test case for both twitter and expanded social marketing programs in the car arena.
A movement that starts a full year before the product launches is a huge commitment, so Ford will have to keep its eyes on the road to avoid crashing this one.
Branding Bottom Line:
Ford thought it was all a great idea until it put this blogger behind the wheel.