The Fiesta Movement and Outsourcing Marketing through Social Media

In today’s digital age, social media can be a solid complementary tool for a marketing campaign. It can also sometimes go above and beyond to be the most useful and exponentially profitable tool in your marketing arsenal if it is wielded creatively. In 2009, Ford proved how a relatively small investment can leverage social media to bring about tremendous benefits.

The Fiesta Movement was a campaign based on a simple but powerful concept; outsource the product’s promotion to the public. Ford selected 100 “agents” and gave them a Fiesta for 6 months, during which they would document themselves on social media going on “missions” in the car. This innovative format of product marketing essentially cultivated 100 free sources of promotional content, each with its own style and audience.

The missions ranged from finding someone who had never been to the ocean and taking them there to re-enacting the Top Gear Ford Fiesta road test. The content created and the subsequent way that the public followed the agents on these missions communicated an unspoken message; Life in a Fiesta is an adventure and you should want to join.

So how well did it work? Well, according to an article on the Harvard Business Review that followed soon after the campaign wrapped up, it worked very well.

“The effects of the campaign were sensational. Fiesta got 6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for information about the car — virtually none from people who already had a Ford in the garage. Ford sold 10,000 units in the first six days of sales. The results came at a relatively small cost. The Fiesta Movement is reputed to have cost a small fraction of the typical national TV campaign.”

There are multiple lessons to be learned from this campaign runaway success. Two lessons seem to be of particular importance; One, social media provides marketers with the potential for letting their audience promote the brand themselves. And two, at a fraction of the price and with an enormous potential reach, marketing success in this realm can be very cost-effective.

Of course, social media marketing methods are not a guaranteed success. Like any item in a marketer’s toolbox, it needs to be wielded correctly and with skill to get the job done. But when backed by solid decision making and creativity, the potential can be staggering.

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