CHICAGO, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Ford, hoping to build on the success of its social media campaigns, Wednesday announced a road trip campaign for its new Explorer.
Ford launched the 2011 Explorer in July on Facebook -- not at an auto show -- and the vehicle has nearly 140,000 friends, said Jim Farley, Ford vice president for Global Marketing, Sales and Service.
"Launching the New Explorer has taught us a lot," Farley told a breakfast at the 103rd Chicago Auto Show media preview. "It is a great example of how a company with a new marketing model is able to do things we have never done before."
"You might think launching a full-size SUV in a post-recession, fuel-efficiency conscious, green-minded world would be 'mission impossible.'"
Farley said social media had helped jump start sales of the Explorer, the 2011 Truck of the Year, and would add a new shift and 1,200 jobs at a Chicago assembly plant.
Farley announced a campaign called Go. Do. Adventures, which will allow consumers to send their ideas for the perfect American Road Trip in the form of videos, essays and photographs to Facebook and ford.com/explorer.
He said the online marketing experience has become as important as the television commercial, and that the experiences posted would be turned into short films and a one-hour TV special.
"With Explorer, we're keeping the consumer's voice in the forefront from social media to mass media," he said.