Friday, April 10, 2009

Baby, I Can Drive My Ford

ford fiesta magenta

Here's the one-of-a-kind hot magenta car that you'll see in the streets of Miami come May! Obviously, I picked the flower details because you know how I love my gardens.

Here is the deal behind the wheels: 4,000 people submitted videos and only one hundred were chosen to test drive the car for six months. I was one of them. Every article I've read so far says that Ford was targeting Generation Y and Millennials (those born between 1979 and 1985), which goes to show -- my Cuban secret for keeping a youthful complexion really works!

Us Ford "agents" are going to go on "missions" and we're a very motley crew. Now, before you say "Manola, you're just sucking Ford's ass ... " Yes, I realize this is a VAGINORMOUS advertising campaign, but none of us have to a be a shill. To begin with, there aint no paycheck and Ford has no control over what we will broadcast. Obviously, we signed a contract and a non-disclosure statement, but if the car breaks down and is a piece of shit, we will state just the facts, m'am.

I have never taken advertising on this blog precisely because I never wanted to be bound to anyone else's agenda, but this opportunity seems more like a patronage of the social media arts -- a bone has been tossed to me, so I'll make of it what I can.

Besides, we don't think twice about patronizing sports that are so corporate sponsor-driven, we never know if tennis is alive one day because of tampons or the next day because of mobile phones.

For those of us who are already social media ho's, an opportunity like this is capital. Not only will we get more exposure on a personal career level, we'll also have an opportunity to learn about a growing field as the boundary between consumer and advertiser begins to shrink. This is also an exercise in community building.

I had a conversation with twitter buddy @geogeller online: I said, "of course, I will give them the real me!" and he replied, "Good! Ford needs to hear what you have learned about trust/community wonder/mystery."

What's more, I'll get a new video camera and have the opportunity to cover more of what I already love to do, which would be reporting even further afield about all the fascinating nooks and crannies of my beloved Florida, with free gas, insurance, maintenance and some other expenses included. This is something I'm not able to do in my current car. It's a jalopy and I refrain from driving it too far.

And this is truly a big leap for me, considering the challenges I had in the past with anxiety disorder. Talk about freedom of the road! I am ready to embrace it fully. Mind you, I know I work at home and don't have to commute, but sometimes, I just drive more than I need to just for the heck of it on the backroads of town. I love driving now. No, I don't love asshole Miami drivers, and I don't love Miami's horrendous rush-hour traffic, but I do love being able to get in my car and just go.

I look forward to showing you (locals) and everyone else (the new Miami audience to be born from this) how to enjoy Florida in a leisurely way -- that's my angle. Let's bring the pleasure back to driving. Driving not to work -- but to places you love and are worth getting to.

I'll be flying to Atlanta for a training and to pick up the car at the end of April. I'm arranging for a road trip back to Miami with a couple of stops. I'll re-cap my missions here with edited videos, but if you want to follow live, please join me on Twitter, Pikchur and Qik. I will also be enlisting the company of some very interesting local people to join me on my missions -- writers, bloggers and other creatives.

Even though other car companies have attempted similar campaigns in the past, this one is really going to set a standard and I'm happy to be a part of it. I am not an expert in advertising, nor do I tout myself as a social media guru, but I can tell you what I suspect: a campaign of this size will definitely create some ripples, if not a tsunami.

Of interest: agent GrassRootsModern is planning a road trip across America to visit the most interesting architectural sites. How cool is that? Oh, and here's what Forbes has to say.

Want more Miami experience on the innernets? Start here: Miami Beach 411 and South Florida Daily Blog

--- payin' the bills ---

Thinking about a new car?  Maybe you're in need of one.  Whatever the case may be, if you're low on funds, look into payday loans.  And get your vehicle today!

1 comment:

Carlos Miller said...

That's awesome, Maria. What kind of video camera did they give you?