Fordistas

Challenge

Ford is generally perceived as a big, classic brand engaging with potential customers in traditional ways. So how can we humanize the brand and re-introduce it as an authentic part of local culture -- a brand that people legitimately like and want to connect with?

Hypothesis

If South Florida Ford provides a unique platform for local influencers, creators and connectors to impact culture, then it will genuinely link itself to a groundbreaking cultural movement and will attract voluntary ambassadors for the brand and its values.

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Experiment

In 2011, local influential artists and connectors of various mediums were invited to come together to participate in the Fordistas initiative. The platform allowed for local street artists to become part of the reviving force behind Miami’s newfound voice in the art scene. The product/81 gallery situated in Wynwood, exhibited the original works of the artists commissioned by the Fordistas platform.

To amplify the Fordistas experience, South Florida Ford (SFF) message ambassadors attended the opening exhibitions to interact with gallery-goers and engage in real conversation about the brand. A strategic partnership with Miami Art Tours allowed us to transport the influential art crowd in Ford vehicles directly to the Fordistas exhibition and other key gallery stops along the way. Content from each show was then shared on SFF social media channels, as well as artists’ and attendees personal networks using #Fordistas. In 2013 during Art Basel week, the yearlong series culminated in a collective exhibition titled, Ford Friends and Family.

The artists were challenged to express not only how their work was affected by the city, but also how the relationships informed and transformed artistic production. The collective experiment represented the values and intentions of collaboration, unity and positive expression that embody the true Fordistas movement.

In its third year, the Fordistas platform sought to build on the momentum and broaden the vision to include both local and international talent. The 2014 Fordistas Residency Program commissioned seven internationally renowned street artists to live, work and be inspired by South Florida’s cultures and communities over the course of two months. The program showcased a solo exhibition for each artist at the product/81 gallery during Wynwood Art Walk on the second Saturday of the month. In the spirit of connecting the community, original limited-edition prints signed by these incredible artists were are made available by donation, the complete proceeds of which benefited the artists’ SFF supported charity of choice.

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Results

The product/81 gallery recorded an average attendance of about 2,300 people on opening nights (Wynwood attracts 250,000 visitors during Art Basel Miami week alone). Each exhibition garnered thousands in earned media via social channels and traditional PR.

Most importantly, South Florida Ford has been credited with being part of a unique and relevant experience for a community that is influencing a cultural movement.