By adaptive - March 6th, 2013

A look at how the leading automaker is leveraging the power of their community to create content aligned closely with their business


All corporations have been gathering user-generated content since the inception of social media. How organisations leverage this content for commercial benefit has been evolving over the last few years.
Ford is the latest brand to innovate in this area. In the past Ford has given away cars to its top advocates in the hope that positive sentiment would ensure. For the next year Ford is moving this idea on, and will include only user-generated content in its ad campaigns for the new Fiesta.
Like other brands, Ford is focusing on creating a team of top advocates who will create the ad collateral that Ford will use in its ad campaigns. This is a bold step for a big name brand. These new ‘Ford Fiesta Agents’ will be equipped with a car and camera, and be given free reign to create any content they like. They will also be expected to compete in events such as the X Games.

Ford is of course not the first to include user-generated content in its ad campaigns. Late last year Coca Cola also asked its customers to contribute to its marketing activities, and before them BMW also looked to crowdsourcing for new ideas. Coca Cola had over 3,000 submissions after its request – the quality of which was astonishingly high.

Handing the content of their campaign to its users is a gamble that Ford is taking, but you can be sure that there will be plenty of semi-professional filmmakers amongst the 100 Agents that Ford is recruiting. 

On the launch of the campaign Ford stated it was looking for people that “convey the unique personality and attributes of the new 2014 Ford Fiesta in an entirely different way.” It can be easy to become cynical about this kind of activity. Ford and others are clearly now keenly aware that their brand advocates are a powerful asset that if used in the right way, can deliver highly lucrative content that their companies can use. 
User-generated content is at the heart of the new campaign for the new Ford Fiesta.
Ford are to be applauded for realising that they have an asset in the shape of their most vocal and active advocates. Care of course must be taken with how this material is curated and then distributed across the social networks that Ford maintains. 
The hard sell is still persona non grata, but a middle ground is fast developing that is being shaped by brands’ own advocates. Ford’s campaign is ambitious and bold. Let’s check back in a year and see how the company designed and distributed its campaign made up purely of user-generated content.

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