Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2011 (Revised December 2012)

The Ford Fiesta

by John Deighton and Leora Kornfeld

Abstract

Executives at Ford wondered if social media could be the marketing solution for the launch of the youth-oriented 2010 Fiesta. But with social media came a ceding of control. Some at the company believed that if Ford was going to move beyond its conservative brand image for the launch of the new subcompact chances had to be taken. Others erred on the side of caution. Chantel Lenard, Ford's Group Marketing Manager for Global Small Car and Midsize Vehicles and Connie Fontaine, Manager of Brand Content and Alliances championed a new approach for the new vehicle and set into motion a comprehensive 6-month social media initiative targeting a younger, ethnically diverse, and urban-based market, called "The Fiesta Movement". In doing so, a large portion of the marketing campaign was handed over to 20 and 30-somethings across America, and Ford had to acclimate to a new way of doing marketing. To what extent should the company guide the activities and messages of their army of bloggers? The case is set two months into the Movement, as the team evaluates the metrics from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and their website, and wonder if they're doing everything they need to do in order to make the Fiesta a success with a new target market.

Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Online Advertising; Leadership; Goals and Objectives; Brands and Branding; Marketing Strategy; Product Launch; Market Entry and Exit; Standards; Auto Industry;

Citation:

Deighton, John, and Leora Kornfeld. "The Ford Fiesta." Harvard Business School Case 511-117, February 2011. (Revised December 2012.)