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Showing posts with label Fiesta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiesta. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ford Enters the Sarcastic Electronic Greeting Card Industry



If you are not familiar with someecards.com, checkout the site now. It's a brilliant site that takes a sarcastic stab at the greeting card industry.

Ford has become the first automotive company to sponsor someecards eCards. The Fiesta launch gives Ford a youth oriented product where it can have some fun with its media communications. Two eCards are now available on the someecards.com site that feature automotive messaging along with a "Sponsored by 2011 Ford Fiesta" label. It's a playful way to have some fun with the product and tap into the existing viral success of the someecards website.

The Ford Fiesta sponsored eCards are accompanied by a couple banner advertisements from the Fiesta campaign to help strengthen the alignment with the vehicle's marketing goals to drive consumers to the FordVehicles.com shopping site.
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Monday, September 6, 2010

DC Shoes Gymkhana has Its Matrix Revolutions Sequel



I have enjoyed the Gymkhana series from DC Shoes featuring its co-owner Ken Block. In fact, in my best of 2009 Gymkhana 2 made the list. Unfortunately, Gymkhana 3 - the first to feature the new Ford Fiesta - is a sad sequel. There are no amazing moments, the car is a sad prop, the Ford logo gets its moment across a couple pairs of silicone mounds and there's enough black lighting to satisfy any college stoner's decorating needs.

Now to be fair this is Part I: The Music Video Infomercial alluding to the hope something great may come in a future part of Gymkhana 3, but starting out this way is no way to build interest for future episodes.

Gymkhana 1 was amazing. Gymkhana 2 kept it interesting and had a few great moments. This however is just sad. This is Gymkhana's Matrix Revolutions.

Nothing is really wrong with the rap by Cool Kids and the video is well shot, but it lacks any of the appeal or the fascination from the other Gymkhana videos and the Fiesta doing the electric slide in a few frames doesn't help.

One YouTube reviewer sums it quite well, "less rapping, more driving."

Perhaps all of this is to make the shoes and clothing more the star than the car, since this is an ad for DC not Ford and, if that is the case, the production team has done its job. They've turned the cool automotive lust of Gymkhana into a clothing commercial.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MINI E Ignored on the Street But Not Online


The MINI E is “an experiment of sorts”, according to MINI’s own website. 500 people were given the opportunity to lease a fully electric MINI E for $850/month for 12 months where the cars are undergoing a real-world experiment. The field trial was limited to only California, New York and New Jersey dealers.

Like most experiments, some things go according to plan and some do not. From USA Today, one owner had a major glitch. “The car's motor shut down on his wife, Suzanne, while she was driving on the freeway, apparently having overheated. The car restarted a few minutes later.”

The idea of getting vehicles into consumers hands is an admirable one and one that will help BMW, who owns MINI, get a solid understanding of the challenges involved with supporting an electric vehicle (EV) product.

A Hurried Experiment?

Some wonder though if MINI rushed their experiment. BMW had to meet a hard date to obtain the important California Air Resources Board (CARB) credits earned from a Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV). To meet this date, it seems the vehicle wasn’t ready for primetime and some bad press has ensued around two key EV topics: vehicle mileage range and charging time.

It was taking a full day for MINI E owners to charge their new cars due to some issues with the 120-volt cable that comes with the car. Estimated charging time was supposed to be in the 4-hour range.

Estimated range on the vehicle was 156 miles when released, but MINI USA has been re-stating the range as 100 miles. Some owners are of course seeing lower or slightly higher mileage ranges, but well below the initial estimate of 156.

Combined these issues were best summed up by an automotive enthusiast friend of mine, Mike Juergens, who commented, "they are like the RC cars I had growing up. I'd wait all day for it to charge to play with it for 10 minutes."

Getting the Word Out

There is some significant coverage of the MINI E in the blogsphere, especially when compared against a similar social media effort like Ford’s Fiesta Movement; though, the Fiesta Movement is more Twitter, YouTube and Facebook and less about blogging. The graph, at left, does show the MINI E is getting its message out in the blog community.

With so much attention, the MINI E is an important test for all EV cars. It is a test to see how consumers enjoy them on a day-to-day basis and what issues may arise for all EV manufacturers. Releasing the car too soon to consumers is a gutsy move and one wonders if this trial will negatively impact the marketing of the MINI E going forward.

One lesson MINI is sure to learn is that green vehicles need to be unique to be considered differentiating to the public. Even with some decals and other visual cues from a gas MINI, the new MINI E doesn’t scream look at me.

One of the things I have found most interesting about the MINI E blogs out there are the number of owners concerned that the MINI E car itself is ignored. It isn’t the visual status symbol a Prius is. And considering that a MINI E is fully electric, it should be a level up in Green status from a hybrid car but no one is noticing the full electric merits of the car.

CNW Marketing Research has an interesting finding on top reasons customers bought a Toyota Prius. "Makes a statement about me" ranked as the highest reason owners bought the car (granted this is Q2 2007 data and I'm sure fuel-economy has surpassed it but its very telling how significant this reason is.)

MINI E drivers also are doing it for the self recognition and other more altruistic reason too I'm sure. How do I know? Here are some quotes from various MINI E leasee bloggers:

“It’s been almost a week and a half and hardly anyone noticed I’m driving an electric car. Not even other MINI drivers acknowledge the MINI E.” - stuartistry.com

“I've been disappointed that no one seems to notice there is anything special about this car so I added some vinyl lettering to the car, "100% Electric" for over the front window, and "Just Say No to Gas" for on the rear.” - mini-e.blogspot.com

“I get more questions when I walk my labradoodle.” - minielectricandme.com

So perhaps the first lesson is to make the car look entirely different than its gas counterpart.
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mission Impossible: Nissan Seeks Cool Creative Canadians


There are plenty of cool, creative people in Canada, but will they find out about Nissan’s Hypercube campaign?

Since it’s not easy selling cars these days, why not give away some excess inventory? But in the case of the Nissan Cube, I doubt Nissan will have much of a problem moving these quirky, stylish boxes on wheels and their latest campaign Hypercube is trying its best to bring several new buyers to the brand.

Nissan Canada is giving away 50 2009 Nissan Cubes to creative people. The top 500 have already been chosen and now the public is voting for their top 50 to receive a Cube.

The 500 are currently showing Canada how cool, fun, unique, different, creative, and interesting a person they are. There are a lot of musicians on the site, including a 2008 Scribble Jam Beatbox Champion. He has some very interesting beats showing his love of the Cube, but has some tough competition for the top spot.

Seems that if you want to win a popularity contest, it’s not about how creative you are; it’s more about how great you look in a bra. Yeah, that’s right the top spot goes to an attractive singer, Amelie Paul from Montreal. The good news is the winners are chosen, not by their ability to look great in lingerie; rather, “it’s a combination of votes from your peers and a panel of esteemed judges who make the final decision as to the 50 of you who walk away with a brand new cube.”

You can stay engaged with the Hypercubers by subscribing to their YouTube channel, Twitter account or Facebook. This is starting to become the norm with automotive brands who use everyday people to generate buzz for their product (see the Fiesta Movement for an example from Ford.)

The Hypercube.ca website is promoting the buzz being generated by having a live Twitter feed on their homepage, whenever “hypercube” is Tweeted. I’m also seeing a lot of the Hypercube contestants regularly talking about the campaign on Twitter, so it is getting out to their social network and probably creating some nice buzz for Nissan through their friend’s participation in the contest.

Giving away 50 cars certainly gets people’s interest, whether the losers turn into buyers is a whole other thing. Regardless, it looks like a well-executed contest and is certainly building awareness with the Cube’s aspirational target -- young creative types.
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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ford's Fiesta Movement Launched Today


The Fiesta Movement launched today. Here is some coverage of the event and what it means for Ford.

From Convince and Convert social media blog: "I predict that the Fiesta Movement will be looked back upon as the event that made social media a real player in the marketing mix. When corporations began to not just realize, but act upon, the fact that companies today garner the customers they deserve, not the customers they buy via advertising."

You can now checkout some of the content being generated on the Fiesta Movement website. Checkout the "Live Feed" tab for different types of content being aggregated from YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.

When you watch a video posted by a Fiesta Agent, they will ask that you vote 5 stars and leave a comment for them on YouTube. Agents with the highest ratings, comments, and I'm guessing views will be eligible for prizes. What prizes? I don't know but it looks like Agents will compete against each other and the social media space will vote who is developing great content or, at least, making the best plea for ratings.

It's an interesting strategy since higher ratings lead to improved placement when people search in environments like YouTube, where you can sort by Rating or View Count. Theoretically this will give Fiesta Movement some priority if the Agent content is well received and engaged with on platforms like YouTube; thus leading to casual users of sites like YouTube to view content from regular people experiencing the car, which is what Agents are supposed to be.

It will be an intriguing experiment for Ford as it will showcase genuine comments about the product, provided people accept genuineness from people receiving a free car, free gas, and free insurance from Ford.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Shape Your Fiesta, By Helping Ford Determine Options


Using the web to gauge consumer interest is nothing new. Ford is trying it right now with their “Shape the 2011 Fiesta” quiz. Visitors can select what options, color and transmission they want for their ideal Fiesta. It’s a great way to see what demand there may be for a new vehicle.

The issue with the idea is will it attract future consumers or just auto enthusiast types who are more than willing to select a manual over automatic transmission for a dream Fiesta, but never really buy such a car? The hope, of course, is that those visiting the Fiesta pre-reveal site are truly considers of the product and will positively impact the production decisions as the car crosses the Atlantic Ocean to enter the U.S. market.

Ford is evaluating quiz-takers by how they define themselves as “loafer or high-top” and “brand-new skateboard or brand-new golf driver”, in their “Choose Your Thing” quiz at the end of the shape your Fiesta poll.

It’s an interesting approach and a commendable way to determine demand, provided potential buyers actually do find the site. I keep filling it hoping they’ll build a manual, hatch in Green Apple.
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