Ford Takes Fiesta On The Road For Test-Drives

Ford FiestaFord has been increasing its use of experiential marketing over the past few years, but this year the company is doing more grassroots efforts, guerrilla marketing and test-drive programs than it ever has to promote the Fiesta, Fusion, Mustang and forthcoming Taurus.

The efforts include a test-drive program for Fusion linked to "American Idol" in 10 major markets [see Marketing Daily, May 6], and new national test-drive program for the Fiesta.

The Dearborn, Mich. automaker has just begun a nationwide road show for the Fiesta that Ford hopes will garner 100,000 test drives. "That's a number we haven't heard anyone trying to beat," says Jeff Eggen, Ford car experiential marketing manager. "To do it, we had to create five different tours, five Fiestas each -- and send them out nationwide, through the end of the year."



The plan for the tour, linked to Ford's "Fiesta Movement" social media campaign, is to hit 100 cities by year-end at events and via impromptu guerrilla-style test drives on streets with high foot traffic, like the Power and Light District of Kansas City.

"We'll be parking in busy sections of cities, feeding quarters into meters all day, and intercepting people for local drives," says Eggen.

Those who complete a test drive get a downloadable music playlist and entry into a drawing for two all-expenses-paid VIP trips for two to attend music festivals in Chicago, New Orleans and Indio, Calif. Timed with the launch of the new Taurus later this year is a 450-dealership tour featuring all four cars.

Ford was shooting to get 5,000 test drives of Fusion through programs over the past two weeks that offered tickets to cinema presentations of the "American Idol" finale in 10 cities. Eggen says Ford has gotten 5,284 test drives in the cinema party cities.

"We have made experiential marketing an important part of our communications plan; it's not just an add-on as it was in years past," he says.

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