The (Not So) Big Three, General Motors (GM), Ford (F), and Chrysler, feel that the major media is not sympathetic enough to their plight. So they’re taking their case to AdWords and YouTube.
WSJ: Ford Motor, General Motors and Chrysler have launched campaigns on several Web sites, including Google and its YouTube video site, various blogs, Facebook and the social-messaging site Twitter, trying to make their case for a bailout as quickly and widely as possible — on the cheap.
“The auto makers in general have gotten a black eye in the media, and we didn’t feel like we were getting a fair shake,” said Scott Monty, global digital and multimedia communications manager at Ford.
“With digital media, it lives on for a long time. It’s picked up in Google searches, people pass it along and share messages they care about with blogs and their social networks of choice,” he said.
And it’s not just Google ads. In fact, if the car companies were as good at building cars as they appear to be at creative Internet marketing, they might not be in this pickle:
Ford went into crisis-communications mode around the middle of last week, assembling a digital push to differentiate itself from GM and Chrysler, anchored by a Web site, TheFordStory.com.
Timed to the release of its business plan to Congress on Tuesday, Ford launched the site, posted videos on YouTube and starting buying Internet search ads to appear when Web surfers enter bailout-related keywords. For instance, a Google search for such terms as “auto bailout,” “Ford bailout,” “9 billion loan” and “cash flow” brings up a link to TheFordStory.com.
Ford also is buying display ads on news sites, including those of The Wall Street Journal and CNN — as part of its “Myth Busters” campaign.
To save money, Ford is also reaching out to consumers directly through blogs and other social media. The company has enlisted members of its staff to respond to blog postings and messages on Twitter. Ford’s Mr. Monty said he has exchanged dozens of messages with Twitter users, ranging from questions about the company’s business plan to whether Ford is selling its corporate jet.
The company used technology from social-sharing site Scribd.com that allows visitors to download its business plan, rate it and pass it along to friends. In addition, the TheFordStory.com site includes links that let visitors contact their representatives in Congress.
More on GM and Chrysler efforts at WSJ >