Of fast cars and fast…

May 14, 2010

…social media strategies.

Last summer, as part of my ongoing quest to have new adventures and meet new people, I hooked up with Ray Chang. He was doing an experiment with a Ferrari 360 Modena and I got to go along for the ride. A ride, literally. Sadly I didn’t get to drive it.

Here’s the audio from my trip in the car…

Ferrari for Charity – Boston

Well, the interesting thing about hopping in the Ferrari and doing an event for Ford (I hosted a Tweetup for the launch of the 2010 Taurus SHO last summer) is the approach. Ford knows its demographic and their goal is to get people excited about a car.

What Ray has done is used social media and a fantastic vehicle to get people excited about an experience. He’s not in this to sell cars, he’s in it to sell marketers and advertisers an option when it comes to messaging. Essentially, this is experiential marketing. Get someone in the car – appropriately branded with NASCAR-esque decorations and ads – and perhaps they’ll take away an image or a slogan or a memory that somewhere down the line compels them to buy a product or a service.

Does it work? I’m not sure. It’s a cool alternative. And as Ray told me, the supercar as advertising media is proven, tried and true.

I bought into the entire feeling of eyes on the car and on me in the seat as we buzzed around the Fenway area. It was like I was a celebrity. Now imagine that my logo or URL was on the car. Eyeballs would move to the car as it passed, and they would see some people in the car having fun, but they might also take away a message or be moved to check out the site.

Ray says he’s going to continue this program – he even has a site on Facebook to help promote it – with other cars and different locations.

For me, as a consumer, would it get me to buy something? I don’t know. I took a TON of photos (see below) when I was just walking around the car. So it definitely got my attention. What would make it better? If I got to drive.

What do you think of promos like this as effective (literal) vehicles for messaging? I think it’s a way to bring social and the real world together. Only time will tell if the road ahead is bumpy.