Autmotive v Social: Ford Facebook Explorer, The Megane Experiment

Ford is the first car manufacturer to use Facebook rather than an auto show to reveal a new model, its Explorer SUV. Prior to the reveal, which took place online today (26 July), Ford had been using the Ford Explorer Facebook page to gain publicity for the car and now has more than 46,000 fans. A series of videos and events, including conversations about the new car with Ford executives that replicate the experience consumers would have at an actual auto show, are available to watch through a live video link on the page. As part of the campaign, Ford will give away an Explorer to one of its Facebook fans, picked at random.


The Megane Experiment
Renault marketing strategy associates Renault with Gallic culture, akin to its “Nicole and Papa” ads of the 80s and 90s. The aim of the campaign is to improve UK sales of the Megane saloon. Ads will contrast the Côte d’Azur resort of Menton with Gisburn in Lancashire to establish which has the greatest “joie de vivre”. The tongue-in-cheek spots will compare a swimming pool in Menton with a puddle in Gisburn, and show a French couple at a sunny seaside restaurant and a British couple outside a pub in bad weather. A 10-day teaser TV and print campaign, launching this week, will claim Menton contains more than 21 Meganes, while Gisburn has none. Consumers will be directed to a website at themeganeexperiment.com, which will follow the journey of Claude as he drives a Megane from Menton to Lancashire. From next month, a follow-up TV, print, radio and digital push will follow Renault’s attempts to give Gisburn greater joie de vivre. Extra content will be avail-able on YouTube and Renault TV. I disagree that the French have “joie de vivre” though: generally they are chain smoking, shrugging and miserable.

Ford Reveals 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook (offonatangent.blogspot.com)
2011 Ford Explorer REVEALED: Can This New Model Save The SUV? (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
Ford Shows Off New Explorer to Facebook Fans with Full Day Of Content (insidefacebook.com)
Ford to unveil 2011 Explorer on Facebook (reviews.cnet.com)
2011 Ford Explorer Changes The Game (ridelust.com)
Ford to unveil redesigned model on Facebook (newstatesman.com)
Scott Meis: Ford Facebook Reveal Day = Smart Digital Launch (scottmeis.com)
Ford unveils lighter version of Explorer (kansas.com)
Inside the 2011 Ford Explorer Facebook Reveal (mashable.com)
OMG LOL: 2011 Ford Explorer to get Facebook reveal (autoblog.com)

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Automotive: Saab Changes Perspective, Ford Movement Brings Leads

Saab – Change Perspective
This is kind of cute.

saab change perspective

Fiesta Movement Reaps 50K Potential Buyers on $0 Ad Budget
Ford evangelist Scott Monty‘s sent AdRants some stats on the progress of Ford’s Fiesta Movement, whereby 100 social “agents” drive around the country in Euro-spec Fiestas and complete appealing monthly missions related to volunteerism, adventure, style and design. According to Monty, brand awareness for the Fiesta has riven to the equivalent of models that have been on the market for two to three years.

Ford’s Fiesta Movement – Brand Ambassadors (viralblog.com)

Ford Fiesta Movement: Can Social Media Sell Cars? (mashable.com)

Ford’s Social Media Strategy – OMMA Keynote (viralblog.com)

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Automotive: Electric Cars To Dominate by 2030, Meantimes Ford Gets (Liquid) Wood

Electric cars could comprise 64-86% of US light vehicle sales by 2030, provided that consumers don’t have to buy the high-priced batteries themselves and an infrastructure can be built to maintain and manage them, according to a new study from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at University of California, Berkeley. To build the infrastructure for battery charging and swapping systems over the next few decades, the cost may exceed $320 billion, the study (pdf) found. However, that cost could be offset by societal health-related savings of $205 billion, as less vehicle pollution reduces the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases, writes Environmental Leader.
eco-cars-electricity-powered-lynx-offers-a-safe-ride-01

Ford’s Next Experiment With Sustainable Materials: Liquid Wood
Recently, scientists have been touting “liquid wood,” a bizarre pikecrete-like new material which some think could become as ubiquitous as plastic. Ford, eager to burnish its green credentials, took notice: One of its research wings in Germany has just inaugurated a three-year, $1.4 million program to figure out if liquid wood can be used in their car interiors and engines.

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Automotive: Fiat, Fiesta

This Fiat Is Very Unreliable
This Fiat van spotted in London by Ben over at Noisy Decent Graphics demonstrates the power an irritated conumer can wield. Says Ben: “I bet Fiat hate it if he turns up at the local dealership. And it’s highly visible on the road, and now thanks to me, on search engines”.

Ford Flickrizes Fiesta
Ford’s European division chose to launch an all-images consumer generated thing that lets people contribute to and change a Fiesta covered with a collage of images. People can rate the images they like, dislike or add their own. I would like to think that this is innovative comms planning rather than a generic Yahoo offering…

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