Ford rolls out African-American campaign for Fiesta driving towards BET Awards

By Karl Greenberg
(April 13, 2010) Ford is promoting its forthcoming Fiesta compact car to young, urban, fashion-conscious African American consumers with a range of programs leading up to the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards in June. The efforts include new advertising for the car starring someone to be picked from among people who attend a casting call at Washington, D.C.'s Howard University.

The automaker's "Inspired by Color" program aims to find people whose "unique and stylish" personalities represent the 2011 Ford Fiesta.

The company, whose agency of record for African American and urban marketing is Uniworld, says it will tap five people to appear in a national advertisement for the Fiesta that will air this spring. The program's judges will be R&B Singer LeToya Luckett, eBay style director Constance White, Parrish Clothing founder Tony Shellman and Ford Fiesta designer Kevin George.

Ford promoted the April 13 - 15 casting event with local radio, targeted online and mobile, posters and street teams designed to drive consumers to The sign-up site has shots of the car and a palette of color options. Interested parties must wear an outfit in the chosen color to the casting call.

Ford will promote the event itself with a team of "fashionistas," including "Project Runway" star Michael Knight, who will interview attendees for sound bytes. There will also be what Ford is calling a custom interactive eZine, "Inspired By Color" that will launch following the campaign and will recap the entire program with additional issues to follow, leading up to and immediately after the 2010 BET Awards.
The buying power of African Americans in the United States will hit $1.2 trillion by 2013, per the Television Bureau of Advertising. The TVB says in 2013, African-Americans will account for 8.8% of all U.S. buying power, up from 7.4% in 1990.

Ford says its Fiesta Movement social media program for the car has gotten some 6.2 million YouTube views, 750,000 Flickr views and nearly 4 million Twitter impressions. The company says that, so far, it has garnered 100,000 hand-raisers for the car.
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