Ford promotes fashion tie to Fiesta

WASHINGTON: Ford introduced "Inspired by Color," a new element of its 2011 Ford Fiesta campaign targeting the young black community, at Howard University this week.

WASHINGTON: Ford introduced "Inspired by Color," a new element of its 2011 Ford Fiesta campaign targeting the young black community, at Howard University this week.

Michelle Matthews, multicultural communications manager for the automaker, said the event was a casting call to find stylish individuals to be "a part of our new, upcoming urban ad campaign tied to the vehicle."

"From a PR standpoint, this is a huge opportunity for Ford because it really is tapping more so into the fashion and flavor of the Fiesta in order to reach out to the consumer," Matthews said.

Young, black consumers, she added, are "really into technology and fashion," and Ford is looking to promote the Fiesta's fashionable elements, such as the car's colors which include lime, magenta, and red.

The company organized street teams and a grassroots approach to spread the word locally about the casting call. Five individuals will be chosen to take part in the ad campaign, with one overall winner going to the 2010 BET Awards, with use of a Fiesta for the trip.

Ford invited fashion bloggers to attend the event at Howard University, in order to showcase the casting process and build buzz for the ad campaign, which is set to debut in late spring. The casting calls were held April 13 and 14.

The company will use FordUrban.com, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube viral videos, and a custom-designed e-zine to post pictures and information from the casting call and the ads.

Ford, who is handling this element of the Fiesta PR campaign internally, will also be doing more traditional media outreach, with a focus on blogs and online publications, to introduce the finalists.

"The Fiesta has always been about getting the word out using various digital and grassroots and viral strategies, and this is another way we've been able to do that," Matthews said. "We really want to be able to tap into this market and really be able to shine a spotlight on this new vehicle."

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