Ford Motor Company, in the midst of implementing a new One Social initiative to make social media involvement a priority among executives company–wide and around the world, has announced its first social media marketing campaign for 2013 — a revival of its 2009 Fiesta Movement campaign that will debut this spring.
Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix was introduced Tuesday by Scott Monty, Ford’s global head of social media, in a presentation at the fifth annual Social Media Week digital marketing conference in New York — where he later elaborated on both this campaign and the One Social initiative in a closed–door meeting with journalists.
Like the 2009 original, which was Ford’s first–ever social media marketing endeavor, the new Social Remix campaign will revolve around 100 people with large social audiences online, whom Ford is calling “agents.” Each will be lent a 2014 Ford Fiesta for six months in exchange for a commitment to produce one video about the car each month, and every video will have to conform to a new “mission” or theme generated by Ford, but the automaker will not edit any video at all, Monty said. These six themes are travel, adventure, style and design, entertainment, technology, gaming, social activism (focused on local causes) and healthy lifestyle.
All the videos will be showcased at the campaign’s Fiesta Movement website, and partnerships with prominent TV, entertainment and sports events — including American Idol, the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the Summer X Games — will generate “the elements that help amplify” what all of the participants produce, he said.
Also, in what amounts to a new tactic for both Ford and the auto industry, he added, the videos will form the basis for all 2014 Fiesta advertisements, including TV spots and print and online ads.
“All of the content that’s being created by these 100 individuals is going to be eligible to be Ford’s advertising content. This is not a pre–launch. This is the launch campaign,” Monty said. Furthermore, making the totality of the campaign about user–generated content is unprecedented in the auto industry, he declared. “We’ve seen commercials that have been crowd–sourced, we’ve seen elements of campaigns that have been user–generated. This is entirely a user-generated campaign.”
The 100 participants in the new campaign will include some celebrities and alumni of the 2009 program as well as people recruited by Ford for the first time. Recruitment began Tuesday at the campaign’s website, and the first promotional material is expected to roll out in late April or early May. Ford will cover all the costs of gasoline, parking and insurance for the loaned cars.
“We are taking everything that you knew about the Fiesta Movement and expanding it,” Monty said. “This is absolutely going to be the next wave of where we go with social and how we embrace the relationships that we’ve created along the way.”
But, “the social media is there to support the business. It’s not there because it’s cool to do social media,” he asserted. “Our goals are to improve Ford’s reputation and help build purchase consideration.” And this is done by “first creating strong products and then creating engaging content around those products, giving people a chance to have their say, talking like them and listening…to make sure we’re creating great products and the strong content, and all the rest.” This applies to every one of Ford’s markets worldwide, he said, including China, Russia, India and Brazil, all of which he dubbed “social powerhouses.”
Thus, Monty said, Ford also has begun implementing the “One Social vision,” which gained approval of top management at the end of last year and is sponsored internally by the automaker’s chief marketing officer, chief communications officer, chief information officer, and chief technology officer. “The vision has been approved but we’re going back to some of the executive committees to get a commitment to structure and funding and putting a plan together.”
As it stands now, he explained, there are “four pillars” to the One Social vision: Listen and engage; measure and monitor; learning and training; and growth and scale.
“The notion is, turn Ford into a social business,” bridging its external social networks presence and internal social structure so that there’s a free flow of information from one to the other. “Whatever department you’re a part of, any of these four pillars should be relevant to you,” he said.