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Fiesta Movement--will it catch on?

Ford is trying a bold viral and social campaign to build buzz for the (re)introduction of the Fiesta model into the US in 2011.

Ford Fiesta
Ford Fiesta
Ford Motor Co.

I was driving along the other day and saw a lime green Ford Fiesta--a car that is not currently available in the US, but which launched recently in Europe. It's combination of good looks, driving fun, and low prices has quickly made it the second-best-selling car there after the Golf.

Ford is planning to bring the Fiesta to the US in 2011, an excellent move, as we need more good "economy" cars here that are not boring and/or ugly. Ford is doing an interesting viral/social campaign ahead of the launch. It has engaged 100 "agents" to drive the cars around and blog and tweet about their experiences (the car I saw was evidently driven by one of them--it had a logo on the back bumper).

80,000 people volunteered to be agents, according to MarketingVox:

The online program has also generated 6 million YouTube videos, 740,000 Flickr views, and more than 3.7 million Twitter impressions to date, according to the company. Additionally, name awareness for the model has risen to almost 60 percent, according to Jim Farley, Ford's vice president of marketing (via the Detroit News).Ford will officially debut the 2011 Fiesta model at the Los Angeles Auto Show today.

Each round of agents produces videos that combine into "chapters" that will play out over the following months. It's the most extensive social/viral based marketing campaign that automakers have yet undertaken (good enough to get me to write about it anyway), and shows the importance that Ford is placing on the Fiesta. According to the Detroit Free Press:

The Fiesta represents a seismic shift for Ford. The automaker, best known for its F-Series pickups and SUVs, hasn't sold a subcompact car in the United States since it discontinued the lackluster Aspire in 1997. What's more, Ford hasn't sold a car with the Fiesta name since 1980.

Ford said it will offer 15 technologies in the Fiesta that are not typically found in subcompact cars. That includes keyless entry, push-button start and its Sync wireless communications and entertainment technology.