The company on Friday sent out a recruitment call for 100 "agents" to receive the car this April, complete Ford-assigned "missions" and chronicle their experiences through their social networks such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube. The company has dubbed this effort its "Fiesta Movement."
"It's all part of a plan to build excitement and spread the word about the arrival of the new Ford Fiesta to the next generation of customers," said Sam De La Garza, Ford's small car marketing manager, in a statement. "Socially vibrant campaigns are so important because of their power in delivering authentic and genuine messages across a broad spectrum of media, which will only help us deliver a more positive consumer experience when the car launches in the U.S. next year."
The company has set up a Web site, www.fiestamovement.com, where people can upload a two- to-five-minute video explaining why they want to become one of the agents. So far, 1,500 people have applied, according to Ford.
By the time of the Fiesta's U.S. launch, Millennials will account for 28% of the country's driving population (a total of 70 million new drivers). The movement gives the company an opportunity to connect with the group before they have established brand loyalty while appealing to their affinity for social networking and technology, according to De La Garza.
Using social networking as a way to reach Millennials is a sound strategy, provided that the company is upfront about its relationship with the agents and is willing to let them craft the message as they see fit, Carol Phillips, a marketing instructor at the University of Notre Dame and president of Brand Amplitude marketing consultancy, tells Marketing Daily.
"They have to get the right 100 people, but that shouldn't be too hard to do," Phillips says. "It's sort of a fantasy--get a car and talk about it with your friends. I would think if [the agents] have a good experience, it would be quite sticky."