Ford takes the leap into Social Media

Ford has decided to tap into the social media field to help with the marketing of its new compact automobile, the Fiesta. At the end of the month, Ford will hand over the branding and promotion duties for the new car to 100 young web savvy individuals, all of which have absolutely no advertising experience.

Ford is giving each of the 100 people their own Fiesta to drive around for six months. Recipients range from indie filmmakers, to single moms, to aspiring dancers, and even avid gamers, and they will be documenting their experiences with the car through YouTube videos, blog posts and other social media updates.

Ford selected the 100 participants from more than 4,000 video submissions viewed more than 640,000 times online. According to Ford, they chose the recipients based on a "social vibrancy" rating. In a nut shell, this is a measure of how much these individuals were followed online and across how many platforms they had been on. Other factors taken into account were overall creativity, video-making skills, their ability to retain a viewer within the first five to ten seconds of viewing and a full back ground check on their driving histories

What makes this campaign really interesting is that Ford will have no censorship over what each person posts. The marketing plan can ultimately back fire. If those chosen individuals who were given a car ultimately have negative feedback the effort could ultimately end up tarnishing the brand almost a year before it hits U.S. dealerships, which would ultimately result in reduced sales. I applaud Ford for finally attempting to think outside the box and come up with a true grass roots campaign that will hopefully provide some honest results about what people actually think about the Fiesta.

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