By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
Well the folks over at the Ford Motor Company have done it again this week. They've used social media in a totally new and different way. Last year they introduced the Ford Fiesta by giving 100 Fiestas to 100 social media enthusiasts to drive around the country for six months and blog, tweet, post videos, photos and update Facebook pages about their experiences. Now they've used Facebook as the media to introduce and reveal their new 2011 Explorer. On Monday the live 2011 Ford Explorer Reveal could be viewed from the Ford Explorer Facebook page.
New vehicles are normally introduced first to the press and at Detroit car shows, so this was definitely a "big deal" (as they say in the current Ford Fiesta TV commercial). Ford invited their Facebook fans to join them throughout the day on Monday, July 26, for exclusive video, photos, and live chats with the Ford Explorer team. It began at midnight with a pre-reveal video that included Mike Rowe, the host of Discovery's "Dirty Jobs," speaking with Ford CEO Alan Mulally in Herald Square in New York City where they created an outdoor forest environment to showcase the new Explorer which was still hidden under a tarp. Ford has used real people, not actors, in this video along with a very conversational dialog that helps to create the social feeling that this media is supposed to be all about.
At 7:40am Ford revealed the new Explorer by showing a video of clips of various members of the Ford team that created it and then of course the Explorer itself. Throughout the day fans could view different videos and photos, some live some pre-filmed. Mike Rowe was back hosting the live events from the outdoor forest environment they had created in Manhattan.
Ford also launched that day the 2011 Ford Explorer All Area Access Sweepstakes offering a chance to win a brand new Explorer XLT along with a $2,000 Shopping Spree. Twenty-one lucky weekly winners will also receive $50 gift cards. Ford is using their Facebook page to host the sweepstakes which is collecting information and data from their fans. Ford has included a few simple questions on the entry form inquiring if any of them plan to purchase a new vehicle soon and what Ford model they are interested in receiving information about. This is what sweepstakes promotions are all about. Giving a great incentive to consumers for a chance to win and in return receiving contact information and insights in order to create an ungoing dialog with that person.
So if you haven't seen the Ford Explorer Reveal Facebook page check it out. Let us know what you think of it. Do you think this now may be the way we are going to see brands and companies introduce new products? Over 54,000 people have "Liked" the Ford Explorer Facebook page and Ford dealers throughout the country got to participate by posting comments and photos on the wall. Ford says it was "even more successful then we hoped" and thanked all that participated. I guess we'll just have to see how sales go.