Ford is going to try an experiment using social networking sites. Ford is in the process of signing up 100 people that have created accounts on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, My Space and other sites, to share their experiences with the Ford Fiesta which will be introduced in 2010. Ford is hoping that by using the social networking system they will be able to use real world people sharing their real world experiences. According to an article over at Wired it states that:
“While were trying to build excitement and awareness for the vehicle with the Fiesta Movement campaign, there’s something bigger happening here,” Scott Monty, Ford’s social media boss, told Wired.com. “We’re also going to be building broader awareness of Ford.”
Social networking sites sell everything from soda to singers these days, but the auto industry has been slow to catch on. It might seem like a big risk — what if someone’s car craps out? But Ford, and the entire industry, for that matter, desperately needs to embrace the message it sends, said Ian Shafer, CEO of the marketing firm Deep Focus.
“It shows that Ford cares what customers think,” he said.
That’s supremely important when everyone is bashing Detroit and taxpayers wonder why they should pay to keep Chrysler and General Motors alive. Something like the Fiesta Movement campaign also could give Ford an edge with a huge — and incredibly web-savvy — demographic.
Ford isn’t shunning traditional advertising for the car, and it undoubtedly will invite the guys from Car & Driver, the Detroit Free Press and other mainstream outlets to review the Fiesta before it goes on sale at the end of 2010.
So is the Ford Fiesta a new vehicle? Yes and no. Ford has been producing the Fiesta since 1976 in overseas markets, having sold over 10 million of the compact cars worldwide. Ford also briefly try to sell the Fiesta in the US but it failed to draw many takers. Now Ford will attempt to sell the Fiesta once again in a different climate and economic situation facing the US, and they are betting that Americans will flock to the car.
But will people trust ‘the agents’ to provide real world experiences? Or will consumers suspect that ‘the agents’ are just shills for Ford?
What do you think?
You can take a look at what Ford calls ‘the agents’ over at the Fiesta web site.