Annals of Branded Social Media–Ford Chooses 100 Bloggers to Serve as “Fiesta Agents”

Anyone tracking social media marketing recognizes that major brands and ad agencies are playing a highly influential role shaping the new medium.  It’s something we are closely observing.  Here’s an excerpt from Ad Age’s “Ford is Counting on Army of 100 Bloggers to launch new Fiesta [Eric Tegler.  April 20, 2009.  sub required].

“…the automaker is counting on 100 bloggers to introduce its new Fiesta, which is set to reach U.S. dealers in early 2010. The idea behind Fiesta Movement is to get the model’s target audience to drive and, hopefully, chatter about the car for months to come…Ford is loaning 100 German-built Fiestas to social-media trendsetters for six months. The 100 “Fiesta agents,” chosen from 4,000 who applied online, will share their experiences behind the wheel, completing monthly, themed missions from travel to social activism; posting videos; and updating their friends and followers on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere…Early signs indicate a ripple effect from simply signing agents to the Fiesta Movement… several of those selected have already gotten interviews with regional newspapers or TV stations based on their acceptance into the program…JWT will undertake the bulk of reviewing/posting online content generated by Fiesta agents, while mining data with the new metrics made possible through social media.”

Kraft’s Research to Boost Oreo Sales reveals “resurgent desire for indulgent food products”–A multi-media ad campaign designed to stimulate cookie “licking”

This excerpt from an Brandweek article on the 2009 Super Reggie winning ad campaign deserves to be highlighted, so the Federal Trade Commission can do a better job next time it researches the market.  The agencies involved for this campaign included Draftfcb (general and promotional advertising);  Razorfish (digital); Digitas (online media);  MediaVest (media); IMG (experiential); Weber Shandwick (PR).

“…Double Stuf Racing League (DSRL) …The highly stylized marketing and entertainment vehicle, billed as a professional sport…has enjoyed 16 consecutive months of sales growth since the program debuted in late 2007, per the company. That consistent performance was a resounding reversal of the brand’s previous sales declines that year, and it explains why Kraft continues to build on the effort in 2009.

It all began as Kraft’s marketing team and litany of agency partners searched for a new brand experience that would distinguish the creamier Double Stuf Oreo from the original cookie. Research revealed consumers’ resurgent desire for indulgent food products, and collective brainstorming led the team to focus on a familiar aspect of Oreo consumption.

“The spark came as we were thinking about fun new ways to engage consumers with Oreo,” explained John Ghingo, marketing director for Oreo at Kraft Foods, East Hanover, N.J. “Lots of people partake in the rituals of twisting, licking and dunking Oreo cookies in milk. Double Stuf Racing League focuses on the ‘lick’ aspect and takes Oreo to a new place in an unexpected way.”

Thus far, Double Stuf Racing League has pitted two sets of celebrity siblings against each other: NFL star quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning and pro tennis champs Venus and Serena Williams. In January 2008, a national TV teaser spot featured a mock press conference by the all-American football heroes declaring their entry into a “second sport.” The ad directed fans to a Web site ( where they enter DSLR and participate in games by creating avatars called “Yoobies.” However, the identity of the second sport was kept alive, leaving viewers to chatter about the mystery on fan sites and blogs…

That buzz continues this year. A spring contest is slated for the Sunshine State, with appearances by both the Mannings and the Williamses. So what other famous athletes may join the competition? “Like any league, DSRL is always looking to scout great new talent,” demurred Ghingo.”

Super REGGIE Winner:  Oreo Double Stuf Racing League ‘Licks’ the Competition.   Michael Applebaum. Adweek.  April 6, 2009

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