Ford Fiesta "Movement" To Target Teh Social Media

Ford's "Fiesta Movement" will give away a new Ford Fiesta to 100 "socially-networked millenials," asking them to document their experiences on teh Facebook, teh Flickr and teh YouTubes.

We're really straining here not make any jokes about the similarities between the term "Fiesta Movement" and a movement of a different sort, but it's really hard for us not to pinch one off. Here's the full release below. Use it as reading material or whatever.

FORD TARGETS 100 SOCIALLY-NETWORKED MILLENNIALS FOR FIRST DRIVE OF FORD'S NEW SMALL CAR, FIESTA

* "Fiesta Movement" is designed to spread the word online and generate excitement among Millennials about Ford's new global small car leading up to the 2010 North American launch
* The first of the 100 Fiestas are coming off the line today at Ford of Europe's Cologne assembly plant in Germany
* Millennials, born between 1979 and 1995, are expected to be the largest cohort group of drivers by 2010 – over 28% – representing tremendous opportunity to meet their vehicle needs
* Over 1,500 applications have been received in the quest to be one of 100 individuals chosen to drive a new Fiesta and tell others about their experience through social media sites

DEARBORN, Mich., 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 website.

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.

About Fiesta
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.

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Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.