Wrestling With Consumerism: A Tail Of Two Moms

Below is a quick sample of the blog post I submitted to AdAge. It’s my first draft so things may change slightly before it goes to press. I’ll link to the story in its entirety when it runs:

A Tail of Two Moms: Sampling In Today’s Economy

Recently I downloaded a marketing report that showed 40% of women in their 40’s are digitally social networking enabled. The report sparked an immediate memory of a more personal blog post I read recently that was authored by a D.C. mom who was given a Ford Flex to test drive by Ford with the premise being she keep the vehicle for a few days and blog about her impressions. She seemed to have the general “mommy blogger” attributes that so many brands yearn to tap into so the logic was obvious in Ford’s decision to leverage her and many others like her who help curate online communities.

Yet it wasn’t her video outtakes, or her posts on how safe she felt, or Ford’s attention to detail, etc. that caught my attention. It was the comments others left for her, the links that tracked back to her original posts, and the subsequent additional comments and video pieces on moms test-driving the vehicles that turned the light bulb on above my head.

Though the “red flag” concerns of affordability were sprinkled within overwhelmingly positive sentiment regarding the crossover -as much an attribute to the strength of a quality car coming out of Detroit as it is Ford head of social media Scott Monty’s tireless efforts to connect with their audience – there were a few concerns specific to price and MPG. One in the same in my book as I’ve come to define MPG as money per gallon these days.

Now in defense of the Ford Flex, it does get 24 mpg on the highway, which is excellent for a vehicle of its size. But this is less a story about the Flex and more about how the economy has changed consumer purchase behavior.

More to come soon!

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