Ford has launched an interesting campaign in the US, for the upcoming (for them) Ford Fiesta, scheduled to launch in 2010. It’s an European styled car targeted at Millenials (born between 1979 and 1995), according to the company. Ford has created a Fiesta Movement, to which 100 people were selected as agents. One had to apply to become an agent and apparently the applications created a lot of buzz. Ford then selected 100 agents selected on the basis of their online social media skills and ability to influence others. These 100 socially-vibrant Fiesta Movement ‘Agents’ will then relate their driving experiences through social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, FlickR and YouTube. In essence, internet stars were chosen to be brand ambassadors on that medium. Nice.
Each ‘agent’ has to undertake a mission. Ranging from simple to complex, the missions all have one thing in common – they require a taste for adventure.
Another mission is to turn their Fiesta into an ice cream truck. After stocking it with ice cream, they will drive to the beach or an event and give away every piece, photographing each person who receives ice cream. And for the most adventurous, one mission is to get married in Las Vegas, in the most bizarre chapel they can find, in front of 10 witnesses.
Throughout the mission and after its completion, the agent uploads the content to the Fiesta Movement Web site or the social media platform of their choice, so visitors can follow the ride.
One of the agents selected, recounts his experience of the briefing sessions et al, here. The multiplier effects of such campaigns, when executed well, is huge. Choosing the right ‘agents’, rewarding them (each time these agents post something online, they get rewards), combining it with offline activities on the ground, making the consumer central to such activities and being present in screens that are part of their lives are all critical elements of this campaign.
Will such ‘online influencers’ coupled with on-ground activities work in India? I would imagine niche tech products like high end cameras, laptops and some durables are ideal candidates.