Posts Tagged ‘ ford fiesta ’

Marketing speeds along a two-way street

This afternoon I bummed a ride, and joined a movement.

The short trip to Greensboro for a class project came inside the much hyped Ford Fiesta. Why so much buzz around this compact car? Well, the fact that it won’t be available to the American general public until next year certainly is a factor.

I enjoyed my preview thanks to a dynamic marketing campaign that epitomizes the new communication models my fellow iMedia students and I designed in class this morning. Rather than just create a bunch of promotional materials and force feed them to the public through traditional channels, Ford held a video contest to create a corps of 100 talented, creative minds plugged into social media. The winners were given a free Fiesta to drive for six months, with the only stipulation that they create fresh content about the product and spread it throughout the web.

My iMedia classmate David Parsons was among those chosen for this “Fiesta Movement.” Now he produces videos and other multimedia content on a regular basis with hardly any control on Ford’s part, and the result is an entertaining mix of spots that can gain traction and fans on the web in a way television commercials never could.

It’s this kind of marketing (call it viral, call it spreadable, whatever your distribution adjective of choice) that anticipates the new communications model made possible by the Internet. While old theories of communication focused on the transaction of a message from sender to receiver, now anyone who creates content spreads it around to many different online communities, and each of them redefines and reshapes the message based on their own perspectives and experiences. The original creator may get his message sent back from multiple sources, each time in a different form. We created a graphic representation of our model that’s shown below.

Think of Ford as the producer in this model, sending out it’s message (the Fiesta) to 100 “prosumers,” a term my class made up to define the consumers of today who produce their own content. David is one of those, and the way he spins the message of the Fiesta into new creative content gets shared with his network of friends and colleagues, who in turn may write about the car themselves or edit their own videos. All the results eventually come back to Ford, which can learn from the negative feedback to improve the product for the 2010 roll-out and use the positive feedback to build marketing buzz. It’s the new communications model in action. All it takes is a ride down the highway to join the two-way conservation.