DEARBORN: Ford, the automaker, is planning to use consumers to generate a year's worth of advertising for its 2014 Fiesta model.
An announcement at New York's Social Media Week will reveal the firm's intention to recruit 100 "agents" as part of its "Fiesta Movement". They will be asked to create material that could be used in commercials.
"This is Ford's first completely user-generated campaign," James Farley, executive vice president for global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln, told the New York Times.
He also cautioned that "there are new rules, new things to learn about", citing as an example the fact that "if you ask people to help you produce advertising, they expect to see what they do without a lot of filters."
Successful applicants will be given cars and cameras, being required to complete various tasks and share the outcomes online with the rest of the Fiesta Movement. The best content will then be utilised in wider advertising campaigns.
While Farley admitted the company would have to be "extremely careful about providing too much help" to its "agents", he was also clear on the need for them to be aware of the quality of their output.
"We're going to shape them to be a Ford Fiesta message," said Farley, "not just 'We're having fun on the dime of a big company.'"
Ford's move builds on a similar 2009 campaign that saw the launch of the Fiesta in North America. This time around the company is billing it as "The Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix'.
It is not clear what Ford plans to do with the money saved on advertisement production costs, but Farley indicated it might be added to the advertising budget.
Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff