Ford focuses on Facebook for Explorer launch

DEARBORN, MI: Ford's Facebook-led reveal of its 2011 Ford Explorer is set to carry on over the coming months as the firm builds up to the car's consumer launch next year.

DEARBORN, MI: Ford's Facebook-led reveal of its 2011 Ford Explorer is set to carry on over the coming months as the firm builds up to the car's consumer launch next year.

The company's Facebook community of more than 160,000 and the Explorer's 50,000 fans will be privy to further details about the new car, including behind-the-scenes coverage and in-depth interviews with the Ford team.

Ford's head of social media, Scott Monty, said much of the build-up campaign has been pre-planned, but that future Facebook activity would also be in response to fan feedback. He added: “One of our tenets about social media is that it is an ongoing conversation and a daily commitment, so a lot of what we will do is to continue the conversation.”

Monty added that the PR campaign, which is being run in-house in collaboration with Ford's AOR, Ogilvy PR, is targeting parents and family centric individuals with a “sense of adventure.”

Ford's Facebook campaign is the first time a major auto company has eschewed an auto show reveal in favor of a social media launch. Monty explained that the idea was to generate “awareness and perception” and drive home the message that this new model was vastly different to what had gone before.

He said: “The campaign started with the product. We knew we had completely reinvented the Ford Explorer so we should reinvent the way we introduced it. We backed away from launching it at an auto show and thought about what would give us the most buzz, and as there are 500 million people on Facebook, we decided it was the place for us to go.”

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