With the majority of the American auto industry in shambles, Ford Motor Compan
y has made heroic efforts in marketing to both maintain its company image and stay financially afloat. In executing these plans, however, Ford has gone beyond mere brand maintenance to a company well on its way to a complete revitalization of its image.
Spearheaded by Mark Hovarth, himself formerly homeless, Invisible People TV’s mission is to share the stories of homeless people across the country. By featuring an individual’s experience– or even simply his or her name– Hovarth believes that we can begin to humanize the entirety of the nation’s homeless population.
The effort has grown to be one of the best examples of how one can harness the power of social media to raise awareness for a cause. To begin with, the campaign’s primary communication with its supporters happens through their website, invisiblepeople.tv. Furthermore, the campaign delivers its fundamental message through short video features shared on its vlog. Invisible People TV is also active on Facebook
and a number of other prominent social media platforms.
In March of 2010, Hovarth’s successful use of social media to champion his cause earned him a $50k grant from the SXSW Pepsi Refresh Challenge
. He will use the grant to launch a training program that will teach homeless individuals how to use social media as a tool through which they can tell their own stories.
Presently, Invisible People TV is taking a cross-country road trip– in a number of 2010 Ford vehicles– with the goal of building video profiles of homeless people literally across the nation. In order to capture footage that accurately reveal their stories, the crew will visit tent cities, motels, and other accomodations that the homeless may frequent..
Learn more about Ford’s support for and connection to Invisible People TV here