Fiesta Movement Recap

In the summer of 2009, Ford Motor Co. announced a contest in which 100 “social media mavens” would win a brand new 2011 Ford Fiesta and free gas for six months. The winner would go on to film themselves on a series of missions set up by the company.

Thousands of candidates submitted their entry video on YouTube explaining why they should win the Ford Fiesta Movement Contest. Our associates Kale Kaposhillin and Jordan Berkowitz encouraged us to submit our own video entry. We put forth the case that our band Dead Unicorn should get a Fiesta.

The video was shot by our production company Daring Handsome Killing Machine with Chris Rahm, Paul Heath, Joe Maggio and Sean-Paul Pillsworth. I produced, assistant directed, acted in, scripted and designed images for our submission video:


Three weeks later I got a call from Ford asking if I knew how to drive a manual transmission. I lied and said yes. After a couple more weeks, I got the call: we won the contest and the car! We were Ford Fiesta Movement Agents #93.

As part of winning, we went to Times Square in New York City and were interviewed by the New York Daily News alongside American Idol finalist Ace Young. After our photo shoot, I got to sing karaoke with him. Naturally I chose “Since You Been Gone” by fellow American Idol Kelly Clarkson. It was one of the highlights of my musical career:

After that, we went back to Times Square for a lavish celebration with other winners, and finally picked up our very own Ford Fiesta:

What followed was a whirlwind of video production the likes of which our humble video production company Daring Handsome Killing Machine had never seen. All of the sudden we were producing a monthly video for a national automobile manufacturer! Our first video exceeded everyone’s expectations (and YouTube’s length restrictions, until we edited eight minutes out:)


For our second video, we stormed Coney Island with the U.S. Marines:

By mission three, we were beginning to tire of long, drawn-out video productions and just wanted some of the free stuff that the other Fiesta Movement winners were snatching up. So we decided to pick the mission involving buying $250 of free stuff from trendy knick-knack store Muji in Manhattan:

Our gross commercialism was followed up with a mission dedicated to community service. Ford presented us with a check for $500 that we never gave out (we hope they did). We tried to give it to the Highway Sanitation Department but they didn’t accept donations. We hit the road and cleaned up ourselves, but ended up where we always do:

To be honest, at this point we had thought Ford would put a little more promotional thrust into getting us exposure. So when we came to the conclusion we were on our own, we phoned in mission five:

For our final mission, we did a retrospective video while eating pizza and drinking beer. We revealed all of our secrets from the whole experience, including the fact that I never actually drove the car, save for the first day we got it, when we almost died a couple times.

In the end the heartless corporate bastards at Ford (just kidding, we loved everyone we worked with — we just have to say that to appear cool) took our car away. It was Euro-spec anyway and not street-legal in the U.S. — we had but a temporary exemption by the EPA.

What did the Ford Fiesta Movement victory do for myself and my colleagues? We realized the following:

1) Being a social media superstar is a lot of work and generally best undertaken by one or two people geeked to the max with limited social lives.

2) High-quality video production is a monumental amount of work too.

3) Our production company Daring Handsome Killing Machine rose to the challenge admirably. We received national exposure and learned many valuable lessons.

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