Chapter Two revs up consumer interest with different agents on new missions
You won’t find the Ford Fiesta in a car dealer’s showroom.
But that doesn’t mean you haven’t heard about it.
The car isn’t being released in the U.S. until this summer, but the Fiesta Movement’s social media campaign has already created a lot of buzz about the vehicle.
Ford recently finished up Chapter One of the campaign, which put 100 people behind the wheels of a Fiesta for a six-month period. “Agents” were asked to document their adventures with the car through social networking sites, along with putting content on the Fiesta Movement Web site.
Now, Ford has launched Chapter Two of the campaign. This time, instead of concentrating on the drivers, the attention is on the Fiesta itself.
This chapter involves 20 pairs of agents. Each two-person team showcases the 2011 Fiesta in 16 selected cities nationwide. The teams are responsible for posting information online and for connecting with people offline.
For the next four months, each team will complete one designated mission. Scott Monty, Ford’s social media expert, says the missions aren’t being released publically (nor is the campaign’s budget).
He says it was essential for Ford to follow up on Fiesta Movement’s initial success. “We wanted to take that momentum and have it co-exist with a more conventional marketing approach,” Monty says. “Chapter One was about creating early buzz for the vehicle, but we knew we had to keep that going until the physical launch.” He adds that if it weren’t for Chapter Two, “people would be in the dark for six months until the vehicle launched.”
Selecting the agents
Monty says he wanted agents to act as micro-marketing agencies. “We were looking for people who would help create content inspired by the car,” he says.
More than 1,000 people submitted applications, after details about Chapter Two were released at the Los Angeles Auto Show last December, along with on-line media buys. In addition, Monty says, information about Chapter Two was shared on the Fiesta Movement Web site.
Ford was looking for self-starters who had a creative vision for the project. Applicants were asked to submit a short video, as well as a creative portfolio, explaining who they are and why they should be selected. Monty says Ford wants them to be creative directors for the campaign.
“We’re asking them to do more for us,” Monty says. “They are actively marketing the vehicle on Ford’s behalf, in their own way.” The agents are split evenly between men and women, he says, and their ages range from mid-20s to mid-30s.
Here, you can get a glimpse of each team. On this page, they are asked to describe themselves. This is what members of Team Philly (Tim Quirino and Mikey Il) say about themselves:
Tim and Mikey are: design conscious technophiliac geeks that hail from the City of Brotherly Love. We’re here to take our tweets to the streets and Foursquare: everywhere. Bottom Line: we want to spread happiness, fun, and good vibes; call us Adventure Capitalists.
When agents attended a training workshop at Ford, they brought a new wave of excitement to the company, Monty says:“It was refreshing. We’ve been living with the Fiesta Movement for the past year, but to our agents, it was their first crack at it. We’re looking forward to seeing the creativity and unique content that comes out of it.”
Monty adds, “It’s likely to be different than if we did this on a corporate level.”
Focus on the community
Ford wanted Chapter Two to revolve around the community. “Think about how much social media has evolved,” Monty says. “There’s been a major push to get people on Facebook and Twitter, but as more people become connected, you want to make it local.”
Monty says people connect more deeply with people in their immediate network. “And who knows the local market?” he asks. “It’s the people who live there. We didn’t want to rely on broad-based demographic assumptions.”
Once a team completes a challenge, it will post content online. Followers are encouraged to keep up with the teams on the Fiesta Movement Web site, adding comments or uploading pictures of the different missions they see on city streets.
Measurement and rewards
The most successful team of this phase will win two cars—one for each agent. Ford will choose a winner after tracking each team’s campaign, performing a metric analysis and seeing how viewers interact with the posted content.
Monty says he’s confident the Fiesta Movement is working. With Chapter One, about 6,000 people reserved a car during the pre-order sale. In addition, 100,000 people have requested more information about the vehicle through the Web site.
“We’re building buzz,” Monty says. “Without a car in the showroom, it’s a powerful lesson in ROI. Social media can mean more than just Facebook and Twitter, if it’s done in an integrated way.”
‘We got out of their way’
Ford basically has given its brand over to the consumer. So, what has it learned in the process?
“When we turned content creation process to the agents, we let them do their thing,” Monty says. “We got out of their way. We were there to help answer questions, but we realized our agents were good at what they did. They let the authenticity come through.”