Old Car, New Media: Ford Gets Jiggy With SMNR

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The "new" Ford Focus rests atop eight-year-old underpinnings. But the car's PR campaign uses cutting edge (so to speak) New Media techniques. Cnet.com reports that FoMoCo's launching the '08 Focus with the spin industry's latest jargoneriffic widget: a Social Media News Release (SMNR). Ironically enough (at least for Nissan fans), the SMNR was created by SHIFT Communications as "a viable new format to spark and cultivate online conversations about a product." In case you can't be bothered to click through to a release on the hot new Focus, the non non-viable digital press release contains "boilerplate statements," loads o' links, podcasts, a webpage or five, links to old stories, pre-approved quotes, eye candy photos, graphics and YouTubeage. We were expecting some new level of interactivity– IM or webinars with people within the company, connections to other journalists or links to Foci forums, but no; it's same old you-know-what is a new wrapper. Clearly, the "fourth wall" between automakers and their customers is still bricked-up. Perhaps Ford's new marketing maven from Lexus could have a look at this…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jeff Puthuff Jeff Puthuff on Oct 15, 2007

    Putting lipstick on a pig...

  • Virtual Insanity Virtual Insanity on Oct 15, 2007

    Samir Syed: I will reiterate a point I have made previously. No amount of marketing can overcome the gap between a Focus and...Mazda3. Not only is this true, but the irony is just mind boggling.

  • Timoted Timoted on Oct 15, 2007

    Come on lets be fair. There's nothing here that Ford couldn't fix by adding a completely new powertrain, body style, interior package and 18" bling bling wheels. Oh and lets not forget that 3rd bar on the grill. Then you'd have a car that you might be able to pay off faster than it depreciates.

  • Kevin Kevin on Oct 15, 2007

    This car has "Rent me if you can't afford anything better when traveling" written all over it. Sorry, you can try all the SMNRs and video clips of young gals rocking out all you want, but this is lame, bland stuff. No one is going to lust after an 08 Ford Focus. It's amazing but Ford and Chevy just have a knack for making small cars horribly bland and low-rent looking.