The Fiesta Movement was staged in 2010 as part of Ford’s reintroduction of the subcompact model into the U.S. Ford provided Fiestas to 100 drivers who blogged, tweeted and posted about their experiences with the car for six months.
|Ford’s highly touted Fiesta Movement campaign featured a Web page on which consumers posted blogs and videos about their driving experiences.
“That’s the ultimate putting your brand in the hands of your consumers, with very positive results,” Monty said. “We brought these vehicles over from Europe before they were available here in the U.S. This is a global car, and we knew for the most part this was going to be the same car coming to the U.S. And we said, ‘You guys are the first. Have at it. All we need from you every month is a video. We’ll give you the theme, but the rest of the time do what you normally do. Talk online. Tweet. Post videos and photos. Write blog posts.’ They were more than happy to share the story with the world that they were among the first to have this new vehicle.”
Although the program carried risks because the company wasn’t in control of what drivers had to say, Ford ultimately had faith that the digital influencers would like the Fiesta and post good reviews, Monty said.
“We were confident that we weren’t going to get a lot of negative blowback because of the superior quality of the product,” he said. “What was even better was that we posted everything that they were saying in real time on one of our websites. We pulled through their content unfiltered, unedited and uncensored, so people could see what real people were saying about our product.”
“Not only were the product comments incredibly valuable for us, but the halo of respect and almost coolness Ford got as a company that gets it,” he said. “People were giving us credit for being hip to what consumers needed at that time, and particularly consumers in the demographic that we were trying to reach with the Fiesta, which was 20- and 30-somethings. Ultimately we saw 130,000 people register on that site to say, ‘Yep, tell me about this when it comes to the dealerships.’ I think 83 percent of those had never owned Ford before. That was a brand-new set of customers to us. And 30 percent of them were under the age of 25, so we’re reaching an entirely new generation. We ended up with a 60 percent level of awareness for the vehicle before we even started any traditional advertising.”
Not that the program was completely free of glitches.
“One video did sneak through, which actually made it past YouTube’s guidelines,” Monty said. “There was a brief bit of nudity in one of the videos. We caught it before YouTube did. We asked the creator of that video to take it down and edit it as appropriate, because this is a family channel and they were violating YouTube’s terms of service. So that was fine. But you know what, if somebody had made a video and berated the product for some reason, we would have had to have kept it up there because of our pledge to be transparent. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case because we had the great product.”