Silicon Beach: Miami Rocks Ford Fiesta Movement at LA Auto Show

Categories: Silicon Beach
Ford Fiesta Miami agents Maria de los Angeles and Brad Schenck.
Maria de los Angeles was in Los Angeles this week, representing the 305 as a Ford Fiesta agent at the LA Auto Show.

The Ford Fiesta Movement campaign started in April, when the company gave a Euro spec car to 100 social media types across the country for six months. Yours truly was one of those 100, picked out of 4,000 people to represent the 305 as Ford Fiesta Miami.  

Along with team member Brad Schenck, Ford Fiesta Miami (@fordfiestamiami) produced six official project videos based on specific missions. The first one was all about Memorial Day weekend, featuring Jimbo's and Ocean Drive. The last one was a parody of Scarface, shot at iconic locations like Elian Gonzalez's house and the Carlyle Hotel.  In between, we geocached in South Miami, gator wrestled in Orlando, built a house for Habitat for Humanity (with help from great volunteers met at a Miami New Times tweetup) and dug deep into the local graffiti scene with artist Atomik . (We also towed the car down Flagler but that was just some rogue shenanigans.)

For all this we got a car, free gas and insurance for seven months. (Another Miami agent, Natasha Tsakos, also created videos.)

Although other car companies like GM have created social media campaigns similar to Ford's, the Fiesta Movement was different, counting on its agents to YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and blog the hell out of every little thing having to do with the car.

And that we did. The car goes on sale next summer for the 2011 models. Here're the stats, dished out by Mark Fields (Exec VP, Ford Motor Company), at a pres conference at the LA Auto Show this past Wednesday: 6 million You Tube views, 720,000 Flickr views and approximately 3.7 million Twitter impressions.

The company took a risk with social media and it seems to have worked. They're claiming that more than 80,000 have raised their hands to say the want to buy a Ford Fiesta.

(See Mark Field's speech and the whole car unveiling on video at Qik.)

The Fiesta Movement lifestream was indeed an impressive show of creativity, with mostly twenty-somethings (aka millennials) capitalizing on the project to show off their talent. Yours truly is not a millennial and has already suggested to Ford that they're missing a whole consumer segment by not marketing to cougars. Older girls wanna have fun too.

Many videos weren't even about the car, but about the personalities of the drivers. This was a brilliant social media strategy on Ford's part. Fuddy-duddies and killjoys need not send in their credit applications.

The Fiesta Movement was like Prozac on two-axles. No word yet on whether the car will actually inspire people to do fun shit in their daily lives, but at 35 miles per gallon gas mileage, it could have some folks doing a happy dance.

Ford Fiesta Miami got props for its gator wrestling antics at an awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Hollywood Palladium, which Mark Fields claimed was the "biggest tweetup ever" with 1,149 people in attendance. 

We won Best Adventure Video and had to go up on stage to collect an Oscar-like award (a side view mirror instead of a gold statue). But the greatest reward of all was representing Miami to the rest of the world through social media.

The glitzy evening was wonderful, but yours truly still missed Miami.  The tweet "LA is like South Beach with a lobotomy" got the last laugh.

More on the award at YouTube by Jeff Turner, @respres.

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