Skipping auto shows, Ford launches Explorer on Facebook

SUV’s ‘reveal’ timed to coincide precisely with traditional media debut.

SUV’s ‘reveal’ timed to coincide precisely with traditional media debut

Introduce your new product via the same old tradeshows and events, and you reach only the audience that already knows who you are. By launching your product via social networking and building up buzz over time, you vastly improve your chances of drawing curious inquiries from new customers.

That’s what Ford Motor Co. did when it launched the new Explorer SUV last month with a Facebook “reveal,” instead of going the typical auto-show route.

Ford has been experimenting with social media initiatives for a while now—back in October, the automaker built a campaign around the debut of the new Fiesta by temporarily providing 100 cars to what Ford called “agents of the Fiesta movement,” and asking them to blog, tweet, and post videos about their experiences with the car. However, the Fiesta was also launched at the Los Angeles Auto Show. For the Explorer launch, explains Scott Monty, Ford’s global digital and multimedia communications manager, the next logical step was to skip the auto shows altogether.

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