Ford Builds Buzz Around Upcoming Fiesta

Ford's Fiesta Ford's Fiesta doesn't launch in the U.S. until 2010, but the company is hoping to build some Gen Y buzz by giving away 100 of them to influential Millennials.

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."

Tags: automotive
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4 comments about "Ford Builds Buzz Around Upcoming Fiesta ".
  1. Michael Flint from Metropolis Creative , February 21, 2009 at 1:03 a.m.

    I really want to like Ford. I have a '71 Mustang in my garage. But the Fiesta is a rental car - meaning cheap! This campaign seems like a desperate move to create buzz. Lets see, based on this article, and the web site: http://www.fiestamovement.com, I can tell that the car is pretty. They don't offer any real information. But based on Ford's brand, I know that this Fiesta is probably not the best quality car, probably not the best fuel efficient car, certainly not a powerful or fun car to drive. (But it does look nice.) Their web site has vague promises of the future, but without more specific details, I'll stick to my Corolla.

  2. Scott Monty from Ford Motor Company , February 23, 2009 at 7:59 a.m.

    Michael, glad to know you're a Mustang fan and that you want to like Ford. Let me see if I can help.

    First, we don't provide any information (like specs, fuel economy, etc.) because the car hasn't been made for the U.S. yet. We can't offer any of that information until the vehicle design and manufacturing plans are complete.

    As far as fuel efficiency and quality, I'm a little puzzled as to why you think that. Are you judging this based on your past perception of Ford, or are you familiar with the 2009 and 2010 vehicles that we're currently making? Because if it's the former, you're woefully misinformed.

    We actually have the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet (the Ford Escape hybrid) and the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedan (the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids). Our quality is now equal to that of the leaders in the field - Toyota and Honda - and that's according to third-party sources.

    I'd invite you to contact me on Twitter (@ScottMonty or@FordDriveOne) and to test drive some of our latest vehicles. I've been in the Ford Fiesta and it's really going to be well received here, based on what I've seen. It's not a rental car by any stretch of the imagination.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  3. Kevin Horne from Lairig Marketing , February 23, 2009 at 10:47 a.m.

    Here's my two cents...calling a potential customer "woefully misinformed" in a public forum seems "woefully inappropriate." You could have just skipped that and called him a "f**kin **tard."

    Or Ford could try and understand why its intended messaging isn't getting through.

  4. Paul Jin from Plummelo , February 23, 2009 at 12:40 p.m.

    I have not driven any '09 or '10 Ford vehicles, but in my previous job I drove many different rental Fords.

    I commend Ford for using social media to recast Ford's image as a relevant brand. I also congratulate Ford for having the most fuel efficient vehicles in the world. I wish you well.

    But, what I'm not hearing is HOW Ford has made their new vehicles better in quality. Fuel efficiency is an important factor, but car purchases are also emotional purchases. What quality improvements would you want people to know about if you're claiming equality with Toyota and Honda? Am I still going to look at the outside styling with hope, then be disappointed when I look at the stark interior with a huge stereo and too many poorly labeled buttons?

    Using social media to hold the contest and to get the word out is good. But please use it to tell how you've improved quality. Ford isn't suffering from not participating in social media -- they're suffering from the inability to convince potential buyers based on perceived/experienced quality.