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Ford loans 100 new Fiestas to social media

New Fiesta, based on Ford's Verve concept car

New Fiesta, based on Ford's Verve concept car

It’s an interesting approach and one that must have taken a while in the planning but Ford has lent 100 of it’s new Fiestas to applicants to it’s social media competition (full details in the Wall Street Journal and the Follow the Fiesta site).  It’s certainly an interesting approach to selling new cars but I do wonder if it’s really that cost effective compared to traditional advertising.

Creating ‘buzz’ online (and offline) about a new car normal involves getting a vehicle reviewed in the trade magazines and on car related TV programs (Top Gear, Fifth Gear, etc.) after some heavy marketing at motor shows.  This has and will continue to with the new Fiesta but Ford’s approach is different and new and I’m wondering that the buzz created by doing it is more important than the actual benefits of getting 100 twenty-somethings to write about their experiences.  This winning video is on YouTube entitled “Ford Fiesta Movement 2011 Audition Video (winning video!)”.

Give the cumulative costs of loaning out these cars (depreciation, fuel, insurance, accidents), traditional media could be comparatively cheaper online.  There’s also the massive bias that someone getting something for free would potentially give a product – would you take someones review seriously if they didn’t have the usual costs involved with buying a car.

Given Google’s policy on buying links (that doesn’t directly put money in their pockets, if you’re cynical) to influence search engine rankings, this could also be construed as a way to influencing linking through an incentive (although not directly cash).  It’s a fine line and I think if smaller companies tried something similar with cheaper products, they could well get a algorithmic slap on the wrist by the bigger search engines.

Still, it’s certainly a different, if potentially expensive way to try and sell a new car and Ford has got to be admired for trying new things given the current status of the car industry.

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3 Responses to “Ford loans 100 new Fiestas to social media”

  1. I never ever post but this time I will,Thanks alot for the great blog.

  2. This trend is catching on. Most recently, I note that VW has run something similar to promote the Tiguan.

  3. Thanks alot for the great blog bout cars


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