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Ford Boosts Brand, Exhibits Character and Relevance
By: Jeff Louis
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You have to admire Ford Motor Company. Those behind the wheel have made some smart decisions, especially when it comes to keeping the Ford brand from tarnish.

The fact Ford has a spine is evident in the light that out of the Big Three automakers, only Ford resisted federal bailout money, a move that shows while they may not have a lot of capital, they are brimming with character. Add to that the fact they've been strongly aligned to one of the hottest TV shows on the air.

Ford is now relevant. 

The automaker's latest foray into adding fire beneath their strengthening brand stems from their partnership with "American Idol." In fact, AmericanIdol.com looks more like a Ford advertisement than it does a site for the hottest musical competition in the United States. Bravo, Ford!

Thus, it's no surprise the savvy marketer has come up with an innovative element to add to its sponsorship of the hit TV series, allowing the "Top 12 (now 11) Idols" the opportunity to team with Ford's designers to create an "idolized" version of the 2011 Ford Fiesta

Their Fiestas will be hosted on AmericanIdol.com from March 17 through May 21, 2010. Fans over 18 can enter the Ford Music Video Challenge every week for a chance to win a trip to the set of a Ford Music Video shoot. The grand prize, of course, includes a Ford Fiesta and a ticket to the "American Idol" finale. 

To "Idolize" the Fiesta, Ford surveyed each "Idol" hopeful to get to know the contestant better. Questions ranged from each contestant's passions to color choice for their custom ride.

Ford is doing things right these days, never missing out on an opportunity to push their brand to new heights; the campaign's social media component has generated over 6.2 million YouTube views, 750,000 Flickr views, and three million Twitter impressions. In addition, over 100,000 people expressed interest in the new Ford Fiesta, which goes on sale this summer. 

The car itself, a compact by definition, will offer 15 exclusive features not available on other compact-car offerings and boasts an impressive 40 miles per gallon. Ford believes the Fiesta will deliver on their promise of best-in-class convenience using the SYNC voice-activated communications system. With new paint schemes and choice of expressive graphics packages (including full-size "car wraps"), Ford is placing their brand behind what looks to be the perfect flagship.

If the company's other offerings receive the same amount of attention the company has placed in the Fiesta, the Ford brand is expected to rise above other U.S. manufacturers as the clear choice for innovative American engineering. 

Recently, Ford's goal was to "out-Toyota Toyota." With Toyota reeling, imports Hyundai and Honda recalling cars, and Dodge finally edging into the black, brand Ford is poised as never before to stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Have you thought about Ford lately?


   

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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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