I have been seeing a lot of commercials lately for Subaru’s My First Car Story which encourages everyone – Subaru owner or not – to go online and share the story of their first car.
Now my first car, a 1989 Mercury Tracer hatchback, just makes me smile to think of it and I honestly couldn’t wait to share my story.
First step was to choose the model, color and condition.
My car was a 4 door hatchback, not a station wagon but this was the closest thing to it. My car was also not pink (but how cool would that have been?!), it was red-orange. And it was in awesome condition until it met me that is. And yes, we called it the Space Mobile because the hatchback was in this funny bubble shape and it was the first thing that came to our minds when we looked at it.
The site asks you to connect with Facebook before sharing your story so that you can tag your friends – who may have been participants in the journey – and also so you can share it with your network.
After submitting my story (just 150 words allowed), I am taken to a page to pick the soundtrack. So fun!! For all the times we belted out Cyndi Lauper tracks (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – anyone?), I had to go with Girl Party!
Then once you have done that, you can narrate the story in your own voice.
So the end result is a video you can share via Facebook, Twitter or email but since I had popups disabled, I ended up losing my custom story L So for fun, I will share it here for you all the read, reminisce and laugh about.
My First Car Story:
I was really lucky to get a car the same day I got my license. My dad and I looked for cars for weeks prior to the day so that I would have one ready for me. We found a 1989 Mercury Tracer hatchback. If you don’t know what that is, here is a picture:
Pretty frickin awesome huh? Mine was red-orange and I decorated it with tons of bumper stickers (is this my car???). I also had a fetish for Happy Meals at the time and filled my glove compartment and every other compartment with toys. My friends call my call the Alien Mobile because it looked kind of like a spaceship.
I loved to drive – I couldn’t drive enough. In fact, I would offer to go grocery shopping and pick up my brother and sister from wherever they were. About 3 days after my license, I was picking up my brother from soccer practice at the high school. He was waiting out front and being the cool chick that I was, I didn’t realize how fast I was going around the corner. Until I hit the front of the school. He was so embarrassed and I couldn’t stop laughing. Ended up just being a busted tire and my brother told me to just drive home on the flat (I am SO lucky I didn’t bend my rim doing that!).
I had so much fun in this car it was unbelievable. My friends and I would race down the highway passing people in the breakdown lane and pushing the speedometer so hard that it was going around again. The memories are amazing and I cherish them.
That car lasted about a year before my Dad decided it was unsafe for me to drive. I guess I had crashed it one too many times and it just didn’t run anymore. I was heartbroken and it was a sad day when it was towed away.
Evoking emotion to generate user content
Subaru is doing a lot of things right.
1. They have connected several forms of media (I saw this advertised on TV, then visited the microsite for this project and shared it to my social network).
2. They are playing into an emotional period of our lives that we were extremely excited about and want to share. Anyone ever ask you for your first car story before? Probably not, but you also probably couldn’t wait to share it.
3. With the exception of some subtle advertising while you wait for your custom story to load, there is no advertising. My first car was not even a Subaru nor have I ever owned one, but I was given the chance like everyone else to be a part of this.
4. Without doing anything beyond building the site and letting people know it’s there, the user (i.e. me in this case) is doing all the work. I al creating the graphics, I am writing the copy, I picked the music, I created the audio track. It’s 100% user generated content without making the user feel like they did anything.
5. I got nothing for participating but I felt like I got a lot. I didnt get a free test drive of the newest, shiniest Subaru or the chance to win a new iPad. But what I did get was a fun experience and I couldn’t wait to share it with you all so you can go have some fun too!
What’s your story? Go have some fun and visit the Subaru site http://www.firstcarstory.com/ and create yours.