Feb. 20, 2009 - Ford Motor Company is creating a 'movement' and it has its own official car.
As part of what Ford is calling the "Fiesta Movement," 100 specially selected people will be given new Ford Fiestas before the vehicle launches in North America in 2010. The cars for the movement were built this week in Germany and are now on their way to the United States.
"It's all part of a plan to build excitement and spread the word about the arrival of the new Ford Fiesta to the next generation of customers," said Sam De La Garza, Ford's small car marketing manager. "These 100 socially-vibrant Fiesta Movement 'Agents' will then relate their driving experiences through social media sites such as Facebook, FlickR and YouTube."
Ford is aiming the Fiesta Movement at Millennials, the next-generation consumer group that will total 70 million new drivers in 2010 - the largest class of any generation. Making up 28 percent of the driving age population, the potential size of the market serves as an opportunity for Ford to connect with a group that hasn't yet established brand loyalty and is very connected to the use of technology and social networking.
"The Millennials are an emerging market force, with 11,000 reaching driving age every day," De La Garza said. "It's the most important demographic trend since the Baby Boomers, and it represents one of the greatest opportunities for Ford."
"Agents" Spread the Word About Fiesta
Beginning in late spring, the chosen "agents" will be asked to complete "missions" in their Fiesta on a monthly basis and capture their experiences digitally and share them with Ford and others through their social networks. For Millennials, social media is just a part of life. In fact, statistics show that for those born after 1980, 62 percent of the content they consume comes from someone they know personally. The missions will take them to new places, to meet new people and to experience new things in their Fiesta.
Social networks are becoming an increasingly important way to talk to consumers, especially for the Millennial generation. According to statistics from a Universal McCann Comparative Study on social media trends, 45 percent of online users have started a blog, 57 percent have joined a social network and 55 percent have uploaded photos - these are all tasks that agents will be asked to complete to create a social media conversation.
"Socially vibrant campaigns are so important because of their power in delivering authentic and genuine messages across a broad spectrum of media, which only will help us deliver a more positive consumer experience when the car launches in the U.S. next year," said De La Garza.
Most importantly, these consumers also will give Ford valuable feedback on the features and performance of the Fiesta prior to the launch in 2010. It's the first opportunity that Ford has ever had to get a wealth of feedback so early on prior to launch - it also being unique in content as it will be unfiltered from a multitude of sources.
The movement already is catching on, with more than 1,500 "agent" applications to the www.fiestamovement.com
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, 2009.
The initiative to introduce the new Fiesta to consumers in North America is kicking off today with the first of the 100 "Movement" vehicles coming off the assembly line at Ford of Europe's Cologne plant in Germany.
In Europe, the Fiesta name has long been synonymous with outstanding performance, design and value. The new Fiesta takes that three-decade heritage to a new level with eye-catching styling and exemplary driving dynamics.
Since it was introduced last August, sales of the new Fiesta have totaled more than 89,000 units across the main European markets. That success continued into 2009, with January sales of more than 28,000 vehicles. The model is continuing to win awards, as well as orders. In Britain it recently was named Car of the Year 2009 by the authoritative What Car? magazine.
The Fiestas engaged in the Movement campaign are European-specification vehicles, updated for use in the U.S. The language in the message center was changed from German to English and the speedometer was changed from kilometers to miles per hour, but the voice for the Bluetooth functionality has a British accent!
In 2010, the Fiesta will be produced at plants in Germany, Spain, Mexico, Thailand and China for sale in markets around the world. The Fiesta for the North American market will be built at the Cuautitlán plant in Mexico.