Ford, seemingly the only American car maker left that isn’t in a full blown panic over its future, has come up with a novel way to market its new (for North America) Fiesta. Ford is turning to social networking and crowd-sourcing to get the word out about the new ride, and also to get feedback flowing back to Dearborn about what works and what doesn’t.
Ford seems to be sticking with its decision about making cars that fit in with the modern, increasingly interconnected world we all live in. A lot of people sneered at the Detroit show a few years back when Ford showed concepts that featured integrated communications features and MP3 players and talked about actually having cars communicate with one another.
The whole take seemed to be one of “What’s a car designer doing trying to be all hip and techy? Cars aren’t game consoles. This is Ford, not Apple.” But what a lot of people missed was that Ford was not just focusing on the tech bits, the flashing lights and shiny things, but actually the way more people, especially younger people, and simply integrating whatever new technology works into their everyday lives.
To show you that Ford gets this (and also to show you another example of why Ford is probably the U.S. car company that best stands a chance of surviving on its own), you only have to read the first paragraph of its press release about the marketing/ad push for the upcoming Fiesta:
“DEARBORN, Mich., May 11, 2009 – Ford is launching an aggressive eight-month consumer grassroots test drive tour as part of the Fiesta Movement, the company’s social media campaign to build awareness for the new Fiesta launching next year.”
It’s that last part, the ” … company’s social media campaign to build awareness for the new Fiesta launching next year,” that really says it all.
That shows that Ford, although they probably don’t understand everything about what people under 30 are doing, DO get that younger people, the potential buyers that will be the bread and butter sales target for the new Fiesta, look at things like FaceBook and Twitter and texting and whatnot, as a part of there lives, the same way people over 30 take things like microwave ovens and cable TV for granted, and people over 50 look at telephones.
And this is another reason why Ford, in a market that is looking more and more like Lord Of The Flies with every passing day, seems to be sitting pretty.
Photo from Flickr user exfordy