News Column

Social Media to Test Drive the Ford Fiesta

February 19, 2013

Alisa Priddle

Ford will turn again to social media tools to build buzz around the updated 2014 Fiesta that goes on sale this spring. When the subcompact was brought back to the U.S. market in 2009, Ford created the "Fiesta Movement" to generate Facebook and Twitter chatter about the car. Ford used the social media reaction of a group selected to drive the new car around the world before it went on sale.

This time around, Ford will give new Fiestas to 100 social-media-savvy people and ask them to entertain followers in any way they choose. The content will be the basis of a completely user-generated campaign, the automaker will announce today at the Social Media Week convention in New York.

Ford will distribute the content at events and through media and social media. The automaker is partnering with television and sports events such as American Idol and the X Games and some music festivals.

The idea comes on the heels of a social-media experiment with a Lincoln Super Bowl commercial involving Jimmy Fallon and a story line developed from people tweeting stories about the brand. The commercial was panned, but viewers paid attention and recognized which brand the ad was promoting.

"Fiesta was designed to reflect the individuality of the customer, so we feel the marketing efforts should give the reins to the people who will be driving it," says Jim Farley, head of global marketing, sales, service and Lincoln. "It truly has its own personality. That personality will come through in the stories and experiences of real people."

Ford chose this week's Social Media Week convention because it is directed at Millennials, those born after 1980, who are the main demographic for the Fiesta.

Participants of the original Fiesta Movement will be included in the new campaign, as well as celebrities and newcomers. They will be given cars and missions to complete across the country over the next year, for the purpose of generating compelling video that can be found at

Ford will recruit the participants, but the latter will put their content on their own social-media outlets before it is shared by Ford.

"It's all part of the democratization of media," said Keith Koeppen, Ford advertising and media manager.

For more coverage on the automotive industry, please see HispanicBusiness' Auto Channel

Source: Copyright USA TODAY 2013

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