In Germany in 2006, we had Opel (of GM) giving 4 Opel cars to bloggers for 4 weeks. Now, 3 years later and in the US, where everything is bigger, longer, etc. Ford does something even bigger and longer:
In the ultimate foreign exchange program, our 100 agents are spending six months behind the wheel of their own Fiesta, sharing their experiences, and completing monthly missions to show you what experiencing the Ford Fiesta is all about, way in advance of the U.S. launch in 2010.
FiestaMovement.com pulls in all of our agents’ content across the web to let you follow the Movement in one convenient place. And each month will highlight different themed Missions, from Travel, Adventure, and Social Activism to Technology, Style & Design, and Entertainment.
Apparently, over 4.000 people applied for this. You can follow the agents on all the usual social media suspects: twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr and on blogs. Plus potentially a few more – it seems to be up to the individual agents, where they want to be present.
The main campaign site is an aggregator of all the agents‘ content. All photos, blog entries, youtube videos,tweets, etc. you can follow on this site, or alternatively via one common RSS feed. Unfortunately, you are not able to participate in any way on the campaign site. No comment option, no voting, etc. At least for now. Once they start the monthly missions (from May 3rd) this might change, we’ll see. However, it might well be their strategy to keep participation in those places, where the content is, where users are used to participate with content: within the social networks themselves.
According to this source here (in German), the project is the single most important piece of „marketing“ for that car. Sounds like there will be no TV, no print advertising, etc. Quite an interesting approach, definitely one I will follow and see how it develops.
I really like social media aggregation projects like this. They are amongst the most complex to implement, believe me, both in terms of technical integration, as well as working out responsibilities and processes within the agency and with the client. Especially when you’re dealing with time frames that last longer than the usual campaign, i.e. at least 6 months, as in this case (if you include recruitment and teaser phase, which we seem to be in right now).
Last, but not least, you need considerable staff 24/7 to maintain the community to filter not acceptable content (yes, for most projects, there will be some!), if they do actually monitor external commentary. (Because, as mentioned above, you don’t seem to be able to comment or participate at all.)
(By the way, does anyone know the agency behind this?)