Bret Michaels is heating up the Ford Explorer Facebook site. The glam rocker, reality TV star and winner of Celebrity Apprentice, is taking on MyFord Touch. In a recent video posting on the site, Bret finds himself actually flirting with the automated system. An automated female voice asks Bret what temperature he’d like the vehicle adjusted to. He picks a hot 72 degrees. She asks him to choose a playlist. He croons, “Play me!” Through this clever social media campaign, we get to see what MyFord Touch (and Bret) is capable of.

Yes, Ford has been so successful with their Facebook presence that they are adding celebrities to the format. When they posted an exclusive Facebook reveal for the 2011 Ford Explorer last July, it was the #1 trending topic on Twitter and placed #2 on Google.

“If you think about the traditional auto show, you don’t get an interactive experience… the car simply drives out on to the stand,” Jay Ward, SUV and CUV Communications Manager, explained to Auto Trader. “With Facebook now being the preeminent digital platform, it was clearly an important medium.”

The Facebook reveal was a first for Ford Motors and, according to Ward, quite possibly a first for any auto company. The goal was to make it a rich experience, to show videos of the people behind the making of the Explorer, not just the talking heads in front of it.  

 “We knew we had a lot of support out there in the digital world and clearly we wanted to expand on that… that’s where the idea for Explorer Live (the YouTube videos) started,” he noted.

With over 137,000 fans at this writing, Ford has more videos in the hopper.

“We are getting great feedback from consumers,” said Ward. “If you think about it, every other form of communication tends to be seen through some kind of filter. With Facebook there is no filter. It is as pure as it can possibly get. We can directly respond to the consumer in nearly real time. That is what is so incredibly exciting about all of this.”

An entire series of celebrity videos can be found on the Explorer Facebook page:

Check out Bret Michaels heating up MyFord Touch.

Or Bret, the consummate performer, educating us about the 2011 Explorer’s horsepower and fuel-efficiency assisted by Sparkles, a toy horse.

Then there’s Snoop Dog doing a riff on how many “dogs” can fit into the 2011 Explorer.

And finally, DJ Funkmaster Flex questions whether the 2011 Explorer is an SUV or a CUV and asks if this is what a lady would drive.

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Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.

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