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Jan. 11, 2009 - Before the Ford Fiesta's U.S. launch in 2010, consumers across the country will have an opportunity to drive, experience and learn all about Ford's newest global vehicle.

Under a program coined "Fiesta Movement," Ford will select up to 100 tech-savvy vehicle enthusiasts to drive a Fiesta and then relate their experiences through social media sites such as Facebook, FlickR and YouTube.

By delivering Fiestas to specially selected consumers, Ford will have the opportunity to learn more about consumer wants and needs in this growing segment. It's the first opportunity on a program to get a wealth of feedback early on, and it will also be unique in content - unfiltered from a multitude of sources.

"It's one thing to talk about the vehicle, but it's another to put people into the vehicle and let them experience it," said Connie Fontaine, brand content and alliances manager. "This is a way to give people an early hands-on opportunity to get excited about the Fiesta while providing valuable feedback to our engineering team."

With the Fiesta, Ford is building on decades of car leadership in Europe.

The highly anticipated 2011 Fiesta is purposely bold and sophisticated - designed to clearly stand out from any other car on the road. In fact, the new Fiesta is specifically designed to appeal to increasingly savvy customers who value fuel efficiency, technology and aesthetics.

"This is another demonstration of how Ford is using its global resources to bring our best products to consumers,' said Sam De La Garza, small car marketing manager. It's been well received in Europe, and now it's our turn to bring it to market."

Beginning in late spring, the chosen consumers, or "agents," will be asked to complete "missions" in their Fiesta on a monthly basis and capture their experiences digitally to share with Ford and other consumers. The missions take them to new places, to meet new people and to experience new things all in their Fiesta Agents will be encouraged to bring their friends along for the ride to share the experience and pass their comments along to Ford.

Unlike any other pre-launch program, this is uniquely focused on using social media to connect consumers in the Fiesta discussion.

"It embraces the way people communicate now, and gives them the opportunity to talk to each other about Fiesta instead of a one-way dialogue from us," said Fontaine.

The program is designed to bring this highly anticipated vehicle to life for its early followers.

"By focusing on social networks, the Fiesta Movement embraces a fundamental shift in the way people are communicating," said De La Garza. "The Fiesta brand is already being talked about…and we want to keep the two-way dialogue going"

While the program taps into increasingly popular social media, it also demonstrates the progressive marketing ideas taking shape at Ford.

"This program is so unique and different, and provides evidence of the continued changes at Ford Motor Company," said Fontaine. "We're setting a new tone with this launch and we can't wait to get feedback on this new product."

Along with the agents sharing their vehicles with their network on a day-to-day basis, consumers across the country will also get a hands-on experience with the Fiesta. Test drives -100,000 in all - will offer consumers unique vehicle interactions and the opportunity to drive a global Fiesta well in advance of the United States launch.

Applications for those who want to be an agent can be found online at www.fiestamovement.com or www.fordvehicles.com/2011fiesta. The application also asks applicants to submit a two- to five-minute video explaining why they want the opportunity to become part of the Fiesta Movement. Applications will be accepted through March 13.
 
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