Fiesta Movement: a social media influencer aggregation campaign

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. 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?)

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8 Kommentare

  1. Thank you for covering the Fiesta Movement. This is merely the pre-launch phase of the vehicle. The North American version of the Fiesta won’t go into production for about another year. At that point there will be additional marketing efforts.

    Part of what we’re doing here is we’re gathering feedback and input from the agents as we finalize the car for the North American market. We’re building buzz in a unique way, but we’re also co-creating some features of the car.

    Finally, there is no need for a filter, as we are not censoring or editing what the agents say. This is a campaign that is 100% transparent and authentic. If Ford chose what content was acceptable or not, it would fail because of lack of credibility. The reason it will work is because people know that these are real people, just like them, who are offering their opinions and experience.

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  2. Hi Scott,

    I didn’t think Ford would censor content in the sense that Ford judges suitability. But I do know from social media marketing activities that you sometimes do get inacceptable content in terms of taste (i.e. really bad language, R-rated photos, etc.).
    But you also wouldn’t censor that?

    I like the fact that you ask you agents to co-create some features of the car, this is an amazing best practise example. I just hope you’ll publish some of the results at the end – both for the co-creation part, but also the overall marketing effort!

  3. We selected agents that aren’t likely to post off-color commentary – it wouldn’t be consistent with who they are. But we won’t tell that what to post / what not to post, nor will we take it down.

    I’m sure there will be plenty to learn from and we’ll be sharing it as we can.

  4. @Scott, I trust that your agents won’t behave badly, I was thinking more about people commenting on things your agents write, on YouTube or on their blogs, for example. But then again, your agents will probably want to keep their sites clean of that anyway, and remove or comment anything inappropriate.

    @Craig: thanks for the info!

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