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Monday, November 30, 2009 

The Fiesta Movement:  The Start of A Revolution In Vehicle Marketing?

Vol. 5 No. 3

I think that the metrics from Ford’s ground breaking “Fiesta Movement” will reverberate, and effect the approach to “Tier 1,” “Tier 2” and “Tier 3” automotive marketing for many years to come.

Just in case you didn’t catch his article in Automotive News On October 16, 2OO9:

It's Fiesta time on Facebook et al.

Laura Clark Geist

Automotive News
October 26, 2009 - 12:01 am EST

By orchestrating videos and posts on social-networking Web sites such as Facebook, Ford Motor Co. says it is generating lots of interest for its upcoming small car, the Fiesta.

For example, 4.8 million people have watched Fiesta-related videos posted on youtube.com by people provided Fiestas by Ford.

Social networking sites, widely used by young people, provide automakers with an inexpensive alternative to traditional media such as TV and radio.

"For basically the cost of renting 100 [European Fiesta] vehicles, we have name awareness on Fiesta that is similar to what an Edge or Flex is after two years of traditional advertising," says Jim Farley, vice president of global marketing and Canada, Mexico and South American operations.

The effort began in April when Ford provided Europe-built Fiestas to 100 social media users to drive for seven months. The users agreed to blog and post videos about their experiences on social networking sites while driving the Fiesta. The users were not paid or told what to say.

Each month the users participated in activities, such as visiting a skateboard park or ziplining. Each user posted at least one video a month -- with or without the car -- about those activities on a social networking site or Ford's fiestamovement.com.

The social networking resulted in more then 600,000 photo views on flickr.com and nearly 3.2 million impressions on twitter.com, the automakers says.

Spreading the word

Results of Ford's social networking for the Ford Fiesta

• 4.8 million views of videos on youtube.com

• 3.2 million impressions on twitter.com

• 600,000 views of photos on flickr.com

Here are links to a sampling of postings.

• flickr.com/photos/oprettyboy1/4034044855/

• twitter.com/Fiestavus/statuses/5069520563

• facebook.com/pages/Fiesta-Groovement/75097204622?ref=nf
Source: Ford

Ford also is conducting consumer ride and drives with the Fiesta at events in 300 cities. They started in May and end in mid-December.

From social networking and the events, Ford says in five months it generated 50,000 hand-raisers, people who have signed up for more information. Ninety-seven percent of the hand-raisers do not own a Ford Motor Co. vehicle.

Ford says its research shows that 40 percent of vehicle shoppers are now aware of the Fiesta, higher than awareness for two Fiesta competitors already on the market, the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit.

The hand-raiser "numbers are impressive given that this was an underground movement," says Wes Brown, analyst with Iceology, a Los Angeles marketing consultancy.

But he warns that Ford needs to follow through with interested consumers "or they will be on their keyboards blogging about how no one contacted them."

Connie Fontaine, Ford Motor Co. brand content and alliances manager, says Ford learned in the Fiesta social-networking effort not to interfere with the creative process. The users' negative comments about the car gave the campaign more credibility, she says.

Fontaine says the company plans to approach the users to help launch sales of the Fiesta next summer.

Ford hopes images posted by Fiesta drivers drum up enthusiasm.

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