In case you hadn't noticed, Fox's hit show American Idol is back in full swing, and this is the first week that the competition has been narrowed down to the top 12 finalists. As you might expect, then, it's high time that the annual Ford sponsorship of AI goes into high gear as well.
Each of the Top 12 Idolists teamed up with four of Ford's brightest up-and-coming designers to come up with their own unique take on the Blue Oval's well-regarded Fiesta hatchback. Fans of the show (or fans of the car, we suppose) can enter the Ford Music Video Challenge once per week from March 17 through May 21, 2010, for a chance to win one of the vehicles you see here and a trip to the set of a Ford Music Video shoot. The grand prize winner gets a package that includes a Fiesta with their choice of one of the Top 12 designs and tickets to the AI finale.
We've gallerized a front-three-quarter shot of each contestant's Ford Fiesta design below. You know, each one of them is just so.... unique... that we can't quite goad ourselves into picking a winner. Therefore, we've just placed them in alphabetical order by the Idolists' first names. Feel free to rank them yourselves in the Comments. Full details on the Ford Music Video Challenge can be found here, and you can find the official press release after the jump.
- Ford is adding an exciting new element to its sponsorship of "American Idol" by giving each of the top 12 contestants a unique opportunity to work with Ford designers and create their own customized 2011 Ford Fiesta graphics
- This new element will be featured in a video segment in tonight's episode of "American Idol," which airs at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX; fans will be able to see the Idols' customized Fiesta designs at www.americanidol.com
- With the help of four up-and-coming Ford designers, the Top 12 Idols created their own personalized Fiesta theme, using color, custom body graphics, wheel treatments and other accessories to make the vehicle an expression of each contestant's personality
- More than 100,000 people have already expressed an interest in the all-new 2011 Ford Fiesta due to the success of the Fiesta Movement social media initiative
DEARBORN, Mich., March 17, 2010 – Ford Motor Company is adding an exciting new element to its sponsorship of the hit television series "American Idol," giving the top 12 Idols a unique opportunity to work with Ford designers and create their own personalized 2011 Ford Fiesta.
Tonight's episode of "American Idol," which airs at 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET live/PT tape-delayed on FOX, will feature this new element in a video segment.
"Ford has been a sponsor of 'American Idol' since the show premiered in 2002, and each season we try to take our relationship with the show to the next level in a fun and meaningful way," said Connie Fontaine, manager, Ford Brand Content and Alliances. "This year, the Idols will get a closer experience with our vehicles as they interact with our designers and customize a Fiesta design that reflects their own personality."
All of the Idols' Fiestas will be on display at www.americanidol.com. From March 17 through May 21, 2010 fans 18 and older can enter the Ford Music Video Challenge weekly for a chance to win one of the vehicles and a trip to the set of a Ford Music Video shoot or the grand prize, which includes a Fiesta with their choice of one of the Top 12 designs and tickets to the finale. Official rules and entry details are available at www.americanidol.com/ford/challenge.
"Ford has great young designers who are bringing fresh thinking to our product lineup," said Fontaine. "We hope the design integration with 'American Idol' will shine a light on the remarkable talent that is working tirelessly to deliver great products to market."
"Idolizing" the Ford Fiesta
Ford began the design process by giving each of the top 12 contestants a palette of nine Fiesta colors to choose from, including vibrant shades like Lime Squeeze, Blue Flame and Bright Magenta. So the design team could get to know each contestant on a more personal level, the Idols also were given a personality survey to fill out with questions like, "What are the three things you are most passionate about?" and "What do you want your car to say about you?"
Four up-and-coming Ford designers – Dillon Blanski, Gustavo Bizyk, Lesli Ann Agcaoili and Dean Carbis – reviewed the questionnaires, traveled to Hollywood to meet with the Idols, and then helped each contestant develop the concept for his or her personalized Fiesta, using color, custom body graphics, wheel treatments and other accessories to transform the vehicle into an expression of each contestant's individuality.
"We explained to the Idols that the graphics they design will actually be a symbol of them and their life experiences," said Carbis, who most recently served as lead exterior designer for the 2010 Ford Taurus. "They were really excited to work with us."
According to Carbis, Tuxedo Black was a popular color choice among the male contestants while the girls seemed to favor more vivid shades like Bright Magenta and Lime Squeeze. Some of the contestants even opted to accessorize their Fiesta with a four-piece 3dCarbon body kit.
"Some of the Idols are familiar with graphic tuning so they wanted to get the body kit and create more of a sports tuner package," he said.
Not surprisingly, music was a common theme among the contestants.
"Many of the Idols are obviously very music-oriented, so we talked about taking an instrument they play or the lyrics to their favorite song and somehow incorporating that into the graphics," said Blanski, 26, the youngest member of the Ford design team.
Both Carbis and Blanski say they are thrilled to participate in the "American Idol" project.
"Typically I'm expressing myself through the vehicles I design. Trying to interpret somebody else's passion and ideas and then help them put that into graphic form is totally different from anything I've done before," said Blanski. "It's a challenge, but it's also fun."
2011 Ford Fiesta: A hit before leaving the gate
Thanks to the success of the Fiesta Movement social media initiative – which has generated more than 6.2 million YouTube views, more than 750,000 Flickr views and nearly 4 million Twitter impressions – more than 100,000 people have already expressed an interest in the 2011 Ford Fiesta.
Going on sale this summer, the all-new Fiesta features an expressive, vibrant design, sharp reflexes, and a global track record that will redefine U.S. small car customers' expectations. With 15 class-exclusive technologies and a projected best-in-class highway fuel economy of 40 mpg, Fiesta brings efficiency and convenience together in one package.
It's also designed to be versatile, personal and adaptable. In fact, Fiesta is expected to deliver best-in-class convenience and connectivity with the segment-exclusive SYNC® voice-activated communications system, as well as an expressive color palette and available graphics.
Ford is planning many appearance and functional accessories for the Fiesta, including a lower body kit by 3dCarbon, a large, sporty rear hatchback spoiler brought over from Europe, several different shift knobs, and innovative body-side graphics by Original Wraps. A preview of these offerings and more is available at www.fordvehicles.com/fiesta while the graphics can be explored at www.fordfiestagraphics.com. The full Fiesta accessories offering will be available to review and purchase at www.fordaccessories.com when the Fiesta launches this summer.
Already, more than 7,000 consumers have made reservations for the Ford Fiesta – half of them from non-Ford customers. Customers can begin placing their order for the new Fiesta today through their local Ford dealer.