Linked in the title is a post at CarScoop updating the situation reported on Friday about the stolen Fiesta Movement unit that was lifted from a Brooklyn street. For those not familiar with the Fiesta Movement, do a Google search. But I'll try and sum it up here.
Ford in an effort to create buzz ahead of next year's release of the Fiesta, started a program to place 100 units in the hands of Hip or near-Hip folks who would drive the cars for 6 months, with free gas, insurance and concierge service. These "Agents" would help create the buzz by blogging, tweeting, facebooking, myspacing and youtubing, so interested parties could follow and evaluate the cars.
Well, one Brooklyn New York Agent had his Fiesta stolen off the street near his home and of course he tweeted about it and Ford's PR man tweeted about it and many sites, including AutoBlog, Jalopnik and CarScoop, posted about it. A "buzz" storm ensued and there were updates stating the car was GPS equipped so that FoMoCo could track it in real time. There were criticism of local Police, because the car is not in the DMV database, but who's fault is that? Not FoMoCo's. I don't think anyone thought the cars would be stolen. Why didn't Ford pay for this guy to have a garage space?
Interestingly, comments at various sites, such as CarScoop, imply that the whole thing is nothing but a publicit stunt. That's possible, but unlikely in my opinion, at least on the part of FoMoCo.
Now, the Agent is another thing. One of the reasons I wouldn't attempt to get in the Fiesta Movement, although I was drooling over the prospect of driving, evaluating and blogging about the car, was that I'm not by nature an attention whore. And these Agents got the cars by being exactly that. I read on CarScoop that this particular Agent had posted signs on the car encouraging passersby to stand on the hood and climb on the car and take pictures of themselves. Maybe FoMoCo did pay for a garage and this nimrod parked it on the street as part of his little social experiment.
The Fiesta Movement may create some buzz, but will it sell cars? Wouldn't FoMoCo have been better served by giving Fiestas to guys like me ? I would have driven it to cruise nights and car shows as well as public places and gathered feedback from regular people. I would have taken pictures and videos of the Fiesta and posted them on my blog, where I would give real life feedback on the car. But, let the hipsters have their fun. Overall this isn't going to cost FoMoCo too much. As long as one of their Agents doesn't do a stunt like the Queen's Day horror last month.
Most of what I've seen on the Fiesta Movement is by little plastic attention whores, who's opinion on the car wouldn't carry much weight with a real buyer. But of course I'm biased aren't I?