Okay Louisville, Let’s Kick Some F-150 Booty!

by Jason Falls |

I’ve been asked to represent Louisville in the Ford F-150 EcoBoost Challenge next week. The company’s blogger outreach and community service campaign to help spread the word about the environmentally friendlier F-150 EcoBoost is pitting me and my Louisville community against seven others (Houston, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Denver, Kansas City, Orlando and Raleigh-Durham) to see who wins free Shell gas.

And the free Shell gas isn’t just for me if Louisville wins! Shell will designate two locations in the winning city on Sept. 3 and for 2 hours and 22 minutes (the F-150 EcoBoost gets 22 miles per gallon), give up to 15 gallons of free gas to any car that pulls in! SWEET!

The killer part of the program, though, is that on Saturday, August. 27, the culmination of the week’s challenge (more details below) is a community service project. Frankly, I get to pick the community service project. All it has to do is involve the truck and as many volunteers as we can get to help out between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on the 27th.

I’m working on the community service project now. If you’re in Louisville and have a good idea … beautification, food drive, clothing drive, etc. … drop it in the comments.

Here are the details of what this entails. Pay attention Louisville! I need your help!

  • On Sunday, Ford will deliver an F-150 EcoBoost V6 truck to my house. I have to drive it at least 25 miles per day, every day until next Saturday. I’m only supposed to replace my regular car and normal driving habits. The driving is not supposed to distract me from a normal week.
  • The truck is equipped with a remote reporting unit that allows Ford to read the truck’s vital signs each evening. All seven other participants will be given the same type of truck and equipment with the same types of challenges.
  • Points will be awarded to the truck that gets the best miles per gallon each day of the competition. Points will also be awarded for the community that has the most volunteers show up for the Aug. 27 community service day. The final official area of points will be rewarded to he city/participant with the most votes (Vote for us on Facebook!). You can vote daily!

So Louisville benefits by getting a kick-ass community service project — they’re giving me money to fund it — some healthy competition with other cities, and if we win, the public can get free gas on Labor Day weekend! If we win, I get a year’s free gas for my efforts. If my wife doesn’t kill me and Shell/Ford let me, I might give that away.

Here’s who I’m up against in the MPG challenge:

Josh Mishell – Denver, Colo. – Runs a marketing, design and social media agency called Fermentable Sugar LLC. I’m already protesting his participation. I’m certain the thin air in Denver will allow his truck to use less fuel to get around. If his numbers are inflated at all, I protest. Heh.

Juan Alanis – Houston, Texas – Juan writes at juanofwords.com and has been published in a number of both English and Spanish-language newspapers and magazines. I’m not sure what I can do to get him disqualified, but I’m working on it. Heh.

Chris Tracy – Kansas City, Mo. – Chris is a life science teacher. So he’s another I’ll protest against since he’ll probably jury rig some contraption to govern the gas distribution in the valve shaft thingy or something. He is also an automotive review blogger at Every Man’s Auto. That just screams “rigged” to me. Heh.

Mark Baratelli – Orlando, Fla. — Mark is a big Orlando advocate and has even won awards for his championing of the city. He runs TheDailyCity.com, a popular Orlando city and culture website, and several events that attract tourists and visitors to something there besides Disney. He needs to go pick up Dwight Howard’s shoulders for the week. That’ll give me a leg up.

Jessica Berlin – Pittsburgh, Pa. – It’s no fair that they pit me against someone from the ‘burgh. But Jess mentions in her bio she’s a Steelers fan. What? No Pirates? That’s enough to make her an enemy for the week. She’s the social media manager for American Eagle Outfitters after serving in a similar role for Cirque du Soleil.

Carlee Mallard – Raleigh-Durham, N.C. – I’ll protest her involvement just because you gotta pick a city. Raleigh-Durham shouldn’t count. That’s like me representing Louisville-Lexington, only with better taste in basketball. Heh. Carlee is a customer support rock star for Airbnb.com. She’s also into Pecha Kucha, which I don’t know anything about but can tell you it sounds like something that doesn’t deserve to be toted around in an F-150.

Dave Cynkin – San Diego, Calif. – Dave is a good friend of mine. Or was. He’s toast. Although he runs like 63 miles a day, so his foot is considerably lighter than mine. This could be a challenge. Dave is the co-founder and CMO at Blog World & New Media Expo and will probably cheat and give people free passes to vote for him. If he does, his next 63-mile run may be with my F-150 chasing him.

So stay tuned SME-ers. I’ll update you a couple times next week, but probably limit most of my posts about the truck and the contest to my personal blog. Jump over to FallsofftheRocker.com and subscribe if that kind of thing — and my personal rants — might interest you. I wanted to tell everyone about it here on SME so you knew it was going on and to drum up some support for some online votes and what-not. It’s an interesting blogger outreach and community service/social good play by Ford, so it will be worth watching. And I’ll report back on how it was handled and organized at the end of the deal so we can all learn from it.


Now … where’s my truck!?!

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About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).