The automaker, which by now could probably publish a textbook on social-media launch strategies for cars and crossovers, is starting up a new social-focused campaign for the new 2013 Fusion, the third-generation of the vehicle.
"Random Acts of Fusion" features TV host and producer Ryan Seacrest. Said Jim Farley, Ford group VP of marketing, in a statement, “Combining social media, entertainment and unexpected consumer experiences will allow us to connect with audiences through every type of media, introducing Fusion’s profile larger than ever.”
The campaign, like "Fiesta Movement" and "Escape Routes" before it, uses consumers as evangelists to talk about Ford vehicles to peers through social-media platforms. The new effort for the 2013 Fusion also uses radio and broadcast media.
Central to the plan is that Ford will use a fleet of around 100 of the new Fusions for short-term loans to 1,000 or so people chosen for their personal stories. And unlike the earlier social-media driven efforts for Fiesta and Escape, Ford is aiming to give a much broader range of people -- not just influencers -- an early taste of the new Fusion, per Crystal Worthem, manager of Ford brand content and alliances.
The company on Tuesday launched a video on its Facebook page featuring Seacrest, who explains that after 1,000 people sign on to watch the video, the program moves to the next level, where the nuts and bolts of the campaign are revealed.
Says Worthem, “Consumers will have to work together to unlock the story, and as the program evolves, will have a chance to see for themselves how Fusion is able to transform the lives of the people who drive it.”
The company says the effort will star “personalities from consumers to celebrities as the program crisscrosses the country introducing the all-new Fusion to millions.”
Worthem tells Marketing Daily that Seacrest was the perfect choice for the program. "We have had a relationship with him by way of ‘American Idol’ for the past couple of years. So he has been working with us and delivering the Ford message for a while." She adds that his core fan base and those Ford is trying to reach with the Fusion campaign are aligned.
Ford will do more with Seacrest as he has gone from host to producer to owning a cable production company. "The opportunities to work with him are endless," says Worthem, adding that Ford will do a lot of product placement and integration of the Fusion in TV shows and movies, as the car is visually striking, and much different the previous, second-generation Fusion.