Ford introduced their 252 hp Focus ST in a unique way, by organizing a street rally and asking spectators to send in their video clips. The final result is professionally edited amateur footage of Tanner Foust and Greg Tracy whipping the speedy little cars around Key West's narrow streets.
The Blue Oval claims that this is the first ever crowd sourced television commercial. That may be true, but Madison Avenue seems to be on an amateur input kick recently. Go Pro rocks customer footage for obvious reasons, but Frito Lay was just looking for something fresh. After hosting a contest for ads fully produced by customers, they fielded a home made Doritos ad that, ratings wise, outdid many professionally produced spots that also aired during the Super Bowl. And that's saying something.
Subaru is doing the same with its "Love" print campaign, which has Subaru owners gush about how much they love their cars (stay tuned for my beat up '86 GL wagon to appear in various magazine ads this summer).
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But I have to admit that the spectator video submission idea was a good one. It got people engaged, and by leaning on a generation brought up on professionally produced commercials, Ford had its pick of all the "right" angles for a successful TV commercial. (Hat tip to MacAttack!)