In '14 Fiesta Effort, Driving Teams Play Fetch For Bands

Ford loves digital reality campaigns when it comes to generating buzz for its Fiesta sub-compact car, whose principal demo target is young. That started with "Fiesta Movement" back in 2009, where Ford put the sixth-gen, new to the U.S. Fiesta in the hands of social-media influencers from different cities, who blogged about the cars while going on various missions. 

Ford is back with it again, touting the 2014 Fiesta via a digital reality series with Live Nation Entertainment that puts six teams of two in a fleet of Fiestas and sends them on the road. The program, "The Rider Challenge," follows the teams from city to city as they attempt to fulfill the backstage requirements of six bands. 

The effort, which launches Sept. 30, is at, and follows the tours of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Fitz & The Tantrums, Kid Cudi, Fall Out Boy, and The Lumineers.



Kevin Chernett, EVP, Live Nation Media and Sponsorship, said it's the first time Live Nation is entering into the original programming space.

The way it works is the six teams compete based on what they know about music. Singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb, who plays host, delivers assignments that are meant to challenge both the teams’ music knowledge and abilities to hunt stuff down, per the companies. 

In the show -- filmed in Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles -- the driving teams do a bracket-style competition, with the winners of each city challenge meeting the band whose tour rider (the list of stuff they want backstage) they fulfilled, and attending the concert in high style before proceeding to the next round. 

The team that wins the entire bracket will receive a Live Nation Ultimate Access Pass that gives them an all-access ticket to concerts at Live Nation U.S. venues for a year as well in a Ford Fiesta.

A spokesperson for Live Nation explains that pairs of teams compete in a given city where a band is performing, with the brand delivering requirements for the backstage setup for that night -- drinks, the food layout, various accessories, "sometimes extreme" says the spokesperson -- and the teams have to drive around to fulfill the order and deliver it backstage at the venue. All told, there are 18 five-minute episodes, with three per week set in a given city. 

The effort also brings in the 100 participants from this year's version of "Fiesta Movement." That program involves people who are social media experts with a big following who go on various adventures with their loaner Fiestas. The 100 "agents" from this year's program will send clues to "Rider Challenge" participants.

As for followers of the teams, they also have a chance at a music trip -- a concert package for two that includes flight and accommodations. To get a shot at the trip, participants have to act as if they were a band themselves and submit their own backstage rider via photos and videos. A Live Nation panel judges, and the one with the most out there -- or at least most entertaining -- wins the trip.

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