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Ford Names 100 Fiesta Movement ‘Agents’ to Hit the Road, Find Adventure, Share Experiences

DEARBORN, Mich., April 7, 2009 – They are witty, irreverent and adventurous. They’re technologically adept, socially outgoing and more than happy to share their opinions on all sorts of topics through social media outlets ranging from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube.

They are Ford’s newest agents of change – the chosen participants in the company’s new Fiesta Movement, a platform designed to generate excitement about the highly anticipated Ford Fiesta, the new fuel-efficient small car that brings its style and substance to the U.S. next year.

As part of social media initiative, 100 young trendsetters will test drive and “live” with a Fiesta for six months, traveling as “agents” on special “missions,” who will then relate their experiences through a variety of social media sites.

The missions are designed to be fun, take the agents to new places and let them experience new things – all while driving the new European Ford Fiesta and providing feedback to Ford on the product.

The Fiesta Movement deliberately takes Ford into the realm of the ever-expanding social media Web. Social media has proved to be successful for Fiesta even before its official start. More than 4,000 applications were submitted, with an excess of 640,000 views of applicant videos on YouTube. The Ford Fiesta also is gaining attention on Facebook and Twitter, with more than 300 fans on the Fiesta Movement Facebook fan page and more than 600 followers on the @FordFiesta Twitter account.

“We got a tremendous response from consumers, a lot of exciting people decided to apply,” said Sam De La Garza, small car marketing manager. “Choosing the 100 agents is a critical step in the movement, pulling us one step closer to getting people in the vehicles.”

The Fiesta Movement campaign is squarely aimed at Millennials, the next-generation consumer group born between 1979 and 1995. These consumers, which will total 70 million drivers by 2010, use social media daily and offer a prime opportunity for Ford to tap into a group that hasn’t yet established brand loyalty. According to statistics from a Microsoft study on Millennials, each day 77 percent use Facebook, MySpace or other social networking sites and 28 percent access a personal blog.

Agents on a mission
The agents applied online, posting short videos on YouTube explaining why they would be the best representative agents for the Fiesta Movement. Applicants from all over the country cited online followers, blogging experience and even a thirst for adventure. Many are automotive enthusiasts; all are extremely comfortable sharing their opinions online.

“Our group of agents is a broad cross section of people from across the country who are active in all areas of the social media space,” said Connie Fontaine, Ford’s brand content and alliances manager. “It’s a strong team across social networks that are geographically and occupationally diverse.”

The chosen agents are socially vibrant, unique and able to tell a good story. They come from all across the country and work in a variety of occupations. But most importantly, they have established social networks with a strong Web presence. Most have hundreds, if not thousands, of Facebook friends. There also are thousands of people following them on Twitter.

Missions with a purpose
After the vehicles are delivered, the Fiesta Movement agents will receive notification about their upcoming missions, which will be based on monthly themes. With six themes in all, the first theme agents will create content on is travel. Each of the 100 agents will choose an individual mission, which will send them on an adventure to engage with people in their Ford Fiesta.

Partnering with Ford on its campaign is Undercurrent, a digital think tank headquartered in New York City, and AMG, a Colorado-based partner of Undercurrrent. Both companies are schooled in creating long-term relationships between customers and brands and focused on creating experiences that are not only relevant and useful, but entertaining.

“We’re engaging outside sources that live in this space to make sure we are pushing the limit as far as we can,” said Fontaine. “By working with them, we will maximize the exposure of our content online, while at the same time receiving valuable feedback from the agents about our new car.”

About Fiesta
In Europe, the Fiesta name has long been synonymous with outstanding driving quality, design and value. The all-new Ford Fiesta is taking that three-decade heritage to U.S. consumers for the first time.

The Fiesta already is a hit in Europe and Asia, where it went on sale last year and earlier this year, respectively. With European sales in January and February totaling 59,600, the Fiesta is the best-selling Ford model in Europe so far in 2009. Since it made its debut in August 2008, sales of the new Fiesta have totaled 120,300 and the car already is making a significant contribution to Ford of Europe’s market share improvement. Early response from buyers in China and other Asia-Pacific markets also is outstripping company expectations.

In 2010, the Fiesta will be produced at plants in Germany, Spain, Mexico, Thailand and China for sale in markets around the world. The Fiesta for the North American market will be built at Ford’s assembly plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico.

Follow the Fiesta Movement
To follow the Fiesta Movement and the agents, visit and bookmark the following Web accounts:

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/fiestamovement
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fiestamovement
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiesta-Movement/73386615309
Twitter: http://twitter.com/fordfiesta

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Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
 

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I am still in shock that I was picked! Regardless of the missions, I have many events planned for the Fiesta. Everything from car shows, trips around the state, autocrosses, track days, festivals, and even presentations to my design class.

I will be putting together a Fiesta welcoming party in the next few weeks, and I will post more info here and on FocalJet.
 
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