Category Archives: Ford Fiesta

Phillies Game: The Phinal Mission

baseballI was never much of a baseball player growing up, the positions I was assigned are proof of that. Far left field and catcher–both required little movement on my part, especially left field (honestly, how many kids do you think were hitting out that far?). Still, who could pass on all the lemon-lime gatorade and big league chew that came with dawning a recreational league uniform? Not me. Skilled or not, I saw it through and can thank baseball for some of my best memories, the fondest of which resides in Shea stadium.

When you’re ten years old, it’s one thing to play in little league, but it’s another to visit a major league stadium with your Dad. Can you imagine the first time? The sheer scale of the structure. The tremendous roar of the crowd. A magical world where items as basic as water are sold for five times their regular value. Ahh yes, the ball park is a wonderful place to be. So when Ford told me that this month was my opportunity to see a live baseball game, my second one ever, I was sold.

Truth be told, even with television available, I hadn’t really watched baseball or many other traditional sports since that trip with my Dad. If I do watch any sports on TV, they’re always more obscure, stuff like World’s Strongest Man, Sumo, Lumberjacking, and Competitive Eating–basically anything that would air on ESPN2. However, my lack of “game-watching experience” wouldn’t damper my excitement because this wasn’t just any live game, but Game 4 of the playoffs for the title-defending Phillies. This game was part of a bigger story, and, after thirteen years since my last live game, I was going to be a part of it.

You can watch the video at the bottom of the post for a glimpse into the Fiesta shenanigans. My friend, Angel, and I were seated in the 32nd row by the third base side. They were awesome seats (Thanks Ford!). Before you jump to the video, there were three things which I consider highlights from the game that weren’t included in the footage:

1) We were seated in a section with the only two visible Dodger’s fans in full fan garb. They seemed like nice enough guys, but fan tensions wouldn’t allow something like good-nature get in the way. Their presence definitely stirred the sea of red jerseys and led to many hilarious/tense moments when they cheered their visiting team.

2) The Kiss Cam is something they do in stadiums to rouse the crowd. If it lands on you, you’ll see yourself on the big screen, and that means it’s smooching time. Of course, this can usually lead to some funny moments where they accidentally picked a brother and sister, causing them to feel incredibly out of place. However, this Kiss Cam segment was punctuated by the operator focusing on a lone visitor in the stadium. He was way up in the corner, talking on his cell phone, oblivious to his presence on the giant screen. The tune All By Myself began to play, and that, my friends, is comedy.

3) It got a lot colder toward the end of the game so I was in the mood for some hot chocolate. My friend, Angel, was already leaving to get himself a soda and asked if I wanted anything. I told him “hot chocolate.” He asked if I wanted anything on it. I thought to myself, maybe whipped cream or marshmellows, but then shook my head ‘no’ deciding the stadium might charge extra for such a luxury. He then returned, placing a hot dog in my lap. He swears I said, “hot dog.” I swear I said, “hot chocolate.” We both swear it was hilarious.

Well, in the words of Michael Jackson’s World Tour: this is it. This was my final mission of six and my time with the Fiesta will wind down along with the month of October. You can view the full extent of my adventures at the fiestamovement site. What else can I say after an experience like this? Even long roads end.

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When America SCORES, We All Do

America ScoresFor every month of the six that I own a Fiesta there is a different theme. This past month was Social Activism month. Seeing how the big apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (the tree being NJ), I decided to bring awareness to America SCORES NY. America SCORES is a national organization which creates compelling after-school programming for children in underprivileged communities. They have programs serving 14 cities, including NYC, which provide soccer, writing, creative expression, and service-learning. In other words, they’re doing a truly kick ass service for the young’ns.

You might be thinking, “So what?” And I understand. A lot of us just grew up with the privilege of having recreational sports and clubs after school, so it’s harder to appreciate. Let me help you with that. You see, when you grow up in an underprivileged situation, your after-school environment is filled with negative alternatives. The absolute last thing you want is for easily impressionable kids to have free time in this type of environment. But this program provides more than an alternative to the negatives of their environment, it’s boosting their confidence and giving kids the power to improve it.

The writing and creative expression have made the children better communicators and students. Service-learning projects, where they tackle issues like local homelessness, turn the children into improvement leaders for the community. Moreover, the sports segment of the program helps combat America’s overwhelming struggle with childhood obesity. As I said, they’re doing a truly kick ass service for the young’ns, or at least they were. 

In 2008, the NY branch was forced to shut down due to financial issues. Now it’s 2009 and with the help of the National Office and generous donors, America SCORES NY is going through its relaunch phase to raise an initial 64,000. So far their fundraising efforts have been successful, leaving them about $5,000 within their goal. After my visit they were brought $500 closer thanks to a donation from Ford in support of the month’s theme. Each $1,000 represents one child in the program. At $4,500 that means there are still 5 children left unfunded.

We are usually a product of our environment. This is our chance to help these children become the product of a positive one. I urge anyone reading to contribute what they can to the organization at www.americascores.org. You can watch my mission video below for an in-depth look at my visit to the NY chapter.

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Philadelphia Fiesta

Cheesesteak Menu Score CardHave you ever slept so heavily that you found yourself pulling the side of your face from a chilled, unusually large puddle of drool? Don’t be embarrassed. Just by my saying that it proves you’re not alone. It also serves as the perfect metaphor for the way I drool over cheesesteak.

It was one of those magic moments the first time I had one–cheese and steak nestled harmoniously throughout the doughy in-betweens of a hero roll. There’s something unforgettable about that combination. So when Ford told me that my first monthly mission was to take three friends on a road trip to anywhere I said we had to go to Philly to taste the best that cheesesteak had to offer.

Philly Fiesta 008Before the trip even started we had to get the Fiesta camera ready; in regular spring time fashion, the trees in my neighborhood dumped pollen onto every inch of its hot magenta exterior–not a good look. After a quick scrub-a-dub session we started our trip down to Philadelphia.

The car handled great on the way down and the ride was really pleasant. At one red light we spotted a well-dressed gentleman eyeing the car from the next lane over. We rolled down our  respective windows and just when I thought he was about to pass the Grey Poupon, he started gushing over the Fiesta. Unfortunately, the cameras weren’t prepared to capture his enthusiasm. I’ve never heard so many questions asked in the short-time frame of that red light–if it was a test, I think I would’ve scored a 97% (minus 3% for lack of video documentation and number 2 pencil). The trip quickly carried on!

Crossing the bridge into Philly was like crossing my heart and hoping to die in cheesesteak heaven; we were so close we could taste it; and we would. It was an ambitious list to say the least: twelve cheesesteak shops compiled from recommendations across twitter, facebook, and travel forums.

From the beginning our biggest enemy was time. The first spot, John’s Roast Pork, was closed on Saturdays. Tony Luke’s, Jim’s Steaks, Pats, and Genos: all of them took around 45 minutes to an hour waiting on line–but were they ever worth the wait. Cheese Whiz seemed to be the cheese of choice in Philly–every shop recommended it for the “true experience.” We were full and it was getting late, unfortunately we knew we couldn’t complete the list so we decided to take in as much of Philly as we had time left.

"Eh-yo Adrienne"Thanks to a recently purchased GPS, the Fiesta made quick work navigating the city and brought us just outside the art museum and the famous Rocky Steps. The funny thing is, even though I was full of cheese, meat, and bread, the steps were surprisingly easy to run up. No body doubles needed for that scene I suppose.

After we had finished the Rocky steps ritual performed by millions before us, and actually, three others while we were there, we made route to one last location: Elfreth’s Alley. It’s known as the oldest and possibly narrowest street in the US.

This place was as quaint as a Hallmark card. We explored the little alcoves and length of the street to the sight of some interesting architecture. However, the sun was fading fast and with it our time to head back north. Before we left we christened the oldest street in the US with its first (and equally compact) Ford Fiesta.

Check out the video below and be sure to explore the channel for some other fun clips from the trip. June’s mission theme is technology and we’re looking forward to it.

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Fiesta 101

That UHaul is eyeing the Fiesta. Sorry UHaul, you carry furniture, not hopes and dreams. I remember the day well; 95 of the 100 agents had already been selected and I wasn’t one of them. The next day would prove to be the moment of truth–would I one of the last five? Nope. Out of 4,000 participants who entered, all 100 were picked to be agents of the Fiesta Movement. I was disappointed, but it wasn’t the end of the world–I told my friends who help with the video the bad news and we all moved on, well, at least until a week later.

On a Friday around 4pm, I checked my voicemail to hear a message from one of the members of AMG who were running the Fiesta competition. He wanted to talk about how I had entered a while ago and to call him back. So, I did. While the phone was ringing by my ear I couldn’t help but think he wanted to offer some door prize for the 3,900 not picked–Ford Fiesta branded pens, perhaps? Not quite. “I don’t know if you knew, but you were the first person on the alternate’s list and one of the originally selected agents dropped out–would you still like the car?” I accepted and in that moment number 101 (me) just became number 100 (me with a new, car-owning, number). I am a Fiesta Agent!

While I obviously wasn’t Ford’s first choice, except maybe as an alternate, I don’t think I’ll let down the spirit of this experiment. I am so excited about this car. This car means opportunity and freedom that was lost when my old car was totaled by my younger brother 3 years ago. With video camera in hand (or mounted on car hood, pending carpentry skills) I cannot wait to produce some entertaining content for people to watch.

Training and Raining
April 19-20 (Sunday/Monday) all the north east agents were called into New York City for training on the program, and on day two, bused to NJ for training with the car at Raceway Park. Monday, April 20th was quite possibly the worst rainstorm we’ve had all year–perfect driving weather. Everyone hopped in the cars, horns honking already before we got to know our cars a little better. After training I must say my favorite feature of the car, outside of it being a freakin’ car, is the bluetooth voice command system. There is a British woman’s voice which allows me to dial/answer phone calls through the sound system as well as alter the temperature of the car! Now I just need to make sure she doesn’t become self-aware and fall in love with me, though I’ve already fallen for her.

The ride back alone was equal parts terrifying and amazing as I adjusted to driving stick-shift, a skill I had only acquired a week prior to the training event. Needless to say, with only some minor stalling, I made it home safe and sound.

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Ford Fiesta: The Drive to Drive

ford-fiesta“The Fiesta is a superb little car.” “In terms of fun per buck, the Fiesta gets our vote.” “The Fiesta appears to be a very well-engineered little car, and its got knockout looks.” I haven’t said any of these quotes, yet

I expect all that will quickly change once I get behind the wheel of this thing. 

The quotes actually appear on Ford’s main site promoting their car called the Fiesta (¡Que RrrrRico!Feel free to just play that in the background while you continue reading). The vehicle has been a hit in Europe and has a US debut planned for 2011. Are you kidding?! That’s two years from now! Ugh. Before falling into a pit of despair an opportunity shone out of the emotional darkness like pair of headlights, “www.fiestamovement.com.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Ford has teamed up with NYC agency Undercurrent (part of Action Marketing Group) and devised a very smart launch campaign. If you’re a US Citizen who can drive and you’re over the age of 21, then you (background search pending) can be one of 100 people to drive the Fiesta for 6 months, Apr 2009-Nov 2009–that’s way before it launches in the US. Not only that but they’re offering sweet perks during that time frame like free gas, insurance, and maintenance. So what’s the catch? I mean yea, me driving all over the place with this car is great exposure for them, but that can’t be all–do I need to tattoo a Ford logo on my body? Not quite, they’re called Monthly Missions. 

Each month (of the 6) as a selected candidate you would be expected to dedicate at least one weekend to a mission in your Fiesta. There will be a range of missions to choose from which are first come, first serve for the 100 selected drivers. Once the challenge is finished, you’d likely be expected to tell everyone about it: Post the pictures on your Flickr, Tweet on Twitter, upload videos of your missions on YouTube. This campaign revolves around its social media component and the candidate’s ability to tell the world about their 6-month Fiesta experience.

So how do I know all of this? Well aside from this information being on the site, I spoke to someone from the Fiesta Movement on Wednesday. Did I actually go out of my way to interview someone for my blog post? No, it’s sort of the other way around. I’ve entered the competition with my video and was interviewed for what can only be described as my Forditude. I won’t find out until March 27th if I’ve made it as one of the 100, but I sincerely hope I am.

Not only am I genuinely interested in the car (C’mon! Didn’t you see that video I linked from the UK earlier?!) but I’m interested in the learning opportunity this provides. I’m used to coming up with marketing plans and promotional ideas, but rarely have I ever been on the other end of it. If selected, I’m excited to see what it feels like to be a participant in this kind of process and then use that experience to make my participants comfortable when I’m creating my own campaigns. I guess you can call me a method advertiser, just as long as it’s Ford calling me on the 27th.

Full Disclosure: I don’t have any tattoos, but I do have a long scar across my left side and I change the story every time.

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