Subaru's FirstCarStory.comEnlarge Photo
Thursdays are just Fridays in disguise. On Thursdays, we're already thinking about the weekend ahead, about projects that we'll start but never finish because of some basketball game or Dr. Who marathon. Work is the last thing on our minds.
If you're in the same boat, we recommend a quick trip over to FirstCarStory.com. It's a great way to kill half an hour by reminiscing about your very first ride and sharing your story -- fully animated, no less -- with other car fans.
Start by picking out the appropriate model, color, and condition of your first car and by giving your vehicle a name. Then click "Bring it to life". At that point, you'll have the option to log into the site using Facebook Connect, which will allow you to save your story and share it with friends. Or, if this is a private moment between you and your memories, you can skip that step and log in on the next screen using an email address.
Once you hit the "Start telling my story" button, you'll have the chance to write a 150-word essay about the awesomeness of your first car or truck or hooptie. Before you proceeed, though, you might want to check some of the other videos on display, just to get an idea of what your finished clip will look like.
In telling your story, you can highlight specific words that you want to draw attention to, and the site will also pick some of its own to call out. If you're logged in using Facebook, you can include your friends in the story by using the familiar "@FriendsName" formula.
When you're done, you'll have the chance to pick a backing track and to record your story in your own voice. (Don't have a microphone? Don't worry. You don't have to record your story to create the video, but it's admittedly a nice touch.)
Once you're done, the site will take your story and voiceover, throw in the background music, and animate it. You can then share the clip with friends on Facebook, Twitter, and via email.
What's interesting is that FirstCarStory.com is sponsored by Subaru, but apart from the photo of the 2012 Subaru Impreza in the lower right-hand corner and a Subaru badge at the lower-left, you wouldn't really know it.
This is a great example of how marketing works in the age of social media: creating stickiness and shareability while starting a conversation with consumers. It's also a great way to kill half an hour on a slow Thursday afternoon.