||Ford Flips Switch On E-Vehicle Facebook Page
Ford is activating its Electrified Vehicle Facebook page with a new program called "Take Charge" that asks consumers to share what actions they are taking to help the environment, with people in four categories winning an "electric vehicle experience."
The program, running through April, asks for submissions of green ideas in a "Repurposer" section for ideas focused on recycling; a "Power Miser" area on energy conservation; A "Gas Sipper" section for fuel-efficient thinking; and "Unconventionalist" for ideas covering everything else.
People have to accumulate votes, which they can do via their social networks like Facebook and Twitter. A leaderboard will show the fans with the most votes, as well as how many of their friends are participating. People can accumulate badges for attaining 10, 50 and 100 votes for their submissions, and share those with their social networks as well.
David Finnegan, Focus Electric marketing manager, tells Marketing Daily the company is being a little mysterious about just what the "electric vehicle experience" prize will involve. "But what we want to do is bring the winners to our headquarters and share with them what our experience has been with electric vehicles," he says. "They have gone through and shared what they are doing, their friends have done that, so we want to share what we are doing as it relates to that."
Ford, which now has a hybrid version of the Fusion car and Escape crossover and introduced an electric version of the Transit Connect commercial wagon last year, plans to have five new electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. Among them, the Focus Electric -- an all-electric vehicle -- will launch late this year, followed by two new next-generation hybrids including C-MAX and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, both crossovers.
Finnegan says the Facebook page is relatively new. "We launched it for our reveal of the Focus electric -- and what's happening is people are sharing it, and finding out about it through their friends, through their own networks, so it is growing organically," he says. "It's the snowball effect, which has parallels to how electric cars will grow as enthusiasts buy them and talk about them with their friends."
He says the site was launched to explain the expanding list of alternative-powertrain options. "There's an awareness of electrics but confusion about different types, how they operate, and what features they have," he says.
(Source: Marketing Daily, 03/09/11)
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Some of the very best campaigns spring from a little "R&D": Rip Off & Duplicate. Last year, the Pepsi Refresh Project allowed consumers to communicate directly the kinds of Cause Marketing projects they want Pepsi to embrace; with the additional benefit to Pepsi of having those same consumers actually come up with the ideas for the projects and let others vote for the winners. All Pepsi really had to do was donate the funding. And reap a terrific amount of publicity and an increase in sales and brand recognition.
Now Ford has created a similar program with just enough changes to make it brand-relevant and targeting specifically consumers who are already inclined to be a Ford fan.
You can follow a similar concept and let the consumers who listen to your station choose the causes and create the campaigns for your station's support that most appeal to them. And that gives you one more powerful selling point when a prospective sponsor asks, "Why should we buy into this?"