One of the bigwigs at Ford must've recently discovered Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, because the American ad campaign for the Fiesta is straight out of Gladwell's bestselling playbook.
Here's how the campaign works: folks 21 and older are invited to submit videos explaining why Ford should give them a Fiesta for six months. The 100 people who make it through the "audition" process will be sent on "monthly secret assignments"--which essentially means that they'll be making lots of road trips with their cool friends and recording everything on video, providing Ford with even more product-placed clips to share virally and on its website. (Side note: it's probably safe to assume that drivers and friends will be what we'd call "camera-friendly".) No word yet on whether there's going to be one grand winner, but the campaign's following standard reality TV format, so somebody ought to walk out of there with something.
In case you're curious, here's the copy you'll find on the "Join the Ford Fiesta Movement" webpage:
Do You Have What It Takes?
One of Motor Trend’s Gotta Have Cars for 2010, the Ford Fiesta will make a bold statement on the American road. This is your chance to drive the international model here before its official US debut. We’re looking for an elite crop of drivers to take the wheel: people with a strong presence on the web, an ability to craft a compelling story through video, and a hunger for adventure. As a driver, you’ll receive monthly secret assignments from Ford Mission Control that will take you to places you’ve never been, to meet people you’ve never met, and to experiences you’ll never forget. And you’ll bring your friends and followers along for the ride.
We’ll hand you the keys to your own Fiesta for a six month period, and we’ll even handle the gas and insurance for you, too.
Many will apply. Only 100 will be chosen. Show us you’ve got what it takes to join the Fiesta Movement.
Translation: bloggers and folks with Facebook friend counts over 1,000, please apply now!
Now, on the one hand, it's reassuring to know that Ford is trying to keep up with the latest marketing trends. On the other hand, we wonder why the company didn't so something similar when The Tipping Point was first published, almost a decade ago. Which begs the question: would we be in the pickle we're in today if automakers were awake at the wheel?