The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Ford agent from NW receives marketing lesson, car

By Edna Horton/nw news editor

Imagine being an ordinary college student who enters a contest and wins the chance to be an agent sent on missions.

That happened to NW student Jeni Searcy when she submitted a video to Ford.

“The Fiesta Movement,” a marketing campaign, was started by Ford to bring the Fiesta, sold only in Europe, to the United States.

On Oct. 7, NW marketing students learned how Ford advertised the Fiesta solely through social media, during The Ford Fiesta Movement presented by Sam de la Garza, Ford Fiesta brand manager, and Scott Monty, global digital and multimedia manager for the Ford Corporation.

De la Garza was the live presenter while Monty conducted his presentation through Skype.

They talked about the various social media accounts such as Twitter and Flicker that Ford used to launch the Fiesta, which will not happen in America for another nine to 10 months.

De la Garza said the reason for this was to test the market. Through social media, Ford has attracted 50,000 hand-raisers, or people who have asked for more information about the Fiesta. Of that number, 97 percent indicated they do not own a Ford.

“This is tremendous because the Fiesta is helping us attract a totally new customer,” de la Garza said.

Ford already has 4.3 million viewers on YouTube, 540,000 hits on Flicker, and 3 million impressions on Twitter.

Searcy was already a lifecaster for a Web site called Justin.tv when the community manager urged her to sign up for the Fiesta Movement. She made an audition video and was one of the people who made the cut.

Searcy said she was excited that she won a Fiesta for six months, but she had just bought a new car.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is cool,’” she said. “But now I am making payments on a car I’m not even driving.”

A hundred agents were selected, and each chose a different mission each month. The missions have ranged from buying food and distributing it by any means possible — skydiving, working with Habitat for Humanity or hosting a reality show in the car. The agents have selected the mission they wanted to complete and made a video of the mission.

All the videos are posted to YouTube, thefiestamovement.com and Flicker and tweeted through comments on Twitter.

De la Garza said this was more than just a marketing campaign. It was a way to reach a more diverse and younger audience.

Random people have followed the agents to ask about their cars, and Searcy said one came up to her while driving home one night.

“This guy pulled up next to me,” she said. “He rolled down the window and shouted, ‘Hey, is that the new Fiesta?’ It was like 10 at night.”

The agents are given incentives for making the best mission videos. Searcy was given an Amazon Kindle, a $200 gift card to IKEA and money to go skydiving.

She also gave her Fiesta a name, Ninja Turtle.

Next month is Searcy’s final mission. She will host a version of Big Brother from her car.

Searcy currently attends classes at TCC. Because of the contest, she has changed her major to marketing. She is sad about having to give her Fiesta back next month but plans on getting one in the near future.

To see all of Searcy’s Fiesta Movement videos, go to fiestamovement.com/agent48.

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