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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Harley Davidson Takes A Right Turn

Dave Nottoli alerted me to the fact that “It appears Harley-Davidson advertising has yanked the brand far to the right. In a full page ad appearing on the back of today’s USA Today sports section, the American motorcycle company has chosen the risky strategy of embracing political speech. The ad, whose copy reads: “It’s A Free Country. But Have You Felt Like That Lately?” continues in red and blue typeface over an image of a biker flying the Stars and Stripes “Has the torch of liberty gotten a little dimmer? Is it starting to feel claustrophobic inside the safety net? Do we still live in the home of the brave?”

harley davidson right wing crazies

Related:

Interbrand Report: The World’s Most Valuable Brands (time.com)
Harley-Davidson cutting more jobs (news.bbc.co.uk)

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Automotive … Fired: Crispin … Hired: Kerri Martin

“Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” Tim Ellis, VP-marketing at Volkswagen of America, said in a statement. “The Volkswagen brand needs to inspire our base of enthusiasts as well as reach out and captivate those in mainstream America. Therefore, we are re-evaluating all areas of our business and after careful considerations have decided to take the necessary steps to ensure we have the right agency partner in place.”
crispin porter + bogusky
crispin porter + bogusky
There’s long been talk among insiders of senior management in Germany preferring the idea of a global agency, which Crispin cannot yet claim to be, despite having established some overseas outposts. Secondly, there’s the marketer’s outsize ambition — to triple U.S. sales within the next 10 years. “Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice,” said VW’s Tim Ellis. And mainstream is one thing Crispin isn’t. Stir in persistent business problems at VW, a major acquisition and a recent round of marketing-department musical chairs, and you have a classic recipe for a review.

Kerri Martin to Head Marketing at Electric-Car Maker Coda
Kerri Martin, once a high-profile marketer who did stints at BMW Mini and Volkswagen, will join electric-car maker Coda Automotive next week as its first chief marketing officer. Industry observers will be watching Ms. Martin, 39, to see whether she can make marketing lightning strike again. She and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, created non-traditional blitz for the U.S. launch of the Mini small car in 2002 that was unique for the auto category, received rave reviews from industry pundits and created the concept of “motoring” for the brand. This time Ms. Martin will be working on the launch of the Coda sedan, the Santa Monica, Calif., company’s first car, next year.

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Automotive: Kerri Martin and Coda, OCC and Siemens, Honda Eco Grand Prix, Mustang 2010

Kerri Martin, once a high-profile marketer who did stints at BMW Mini and Volkswagen, will join electric-car maker Coda Automotive next week as its first chief marketing officer. Industry observers will be watching Ms. Martin, 39, to see whether she can make marketing lightning strike again. She and Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, Miami, created non-traditional blitz for the U.S. launch of the Mini small car in 2002 that was unique for the auto category, received rave reviews from industry pundits and created the concept of “motoring” for the brand. This time Ms. Martin will be working on the launch of the Coda sedan, the Santa Monica, Calif., company’s first car, next year.
coda-electric-car-front
Siemens has paired up with Orange County Choppers, the custom bike building outfit of TV fame, to build a one-off electric chopper. The “Smart Chopper” showcases Siemens technology, boasting a 60-mile range and a 100 mph top speed compliments of a 27-hp electric motor. Charging time is anywhere between 1 and 5 hours depending on the voltage available. In addition to leveraging Siemens electric technology, the bike also features LED lights compliments of Sylvania, a Siemens subsidiary. The bike has OCC’s characteristic flair, the least of which is a rear tire that wouldn’t look out of place on a car. The Smart Chopper will be making its way around the country for the balance of 2009 and is slated for auction in 2010.
Unveiling of Siemens first electric green chopper, made with Ora
Honda Formula E is an advergame launched in Japan to teach people how to drive with an eco-friendly attitude. In the game you don’t have to use the steering-wheel, but just the brake and accelerator to find the ideal speed to drive in the city, saving gasoline, and therefore saving the planet.
Firstborn are attempting to build a community around the (probably poor-handling, low miles-per-gallon) Ford Mustang 2010. Presenting a very powerful car-configuration tool, you can customize a template Ford Mustang the way you want or even customizing collaborating in real time with some people, in the end it’s about “experiencing” the car and also sharing it to the gallery (almost 2k submissions in a week) or, the main purpose for sport cars fans, downloading the image to use it as a wallpaper.
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