Small is beautiful, local’s where it’s at and a whiff of the underground is the cherry on top. At least that’s what the distinctly unlocal Ford Motor Co may have been thinking when it came up with its pop-up Fiesta Lounge concept, currently happening in the vacant retail space at 1823 Fourth Street.
Opened on September 29, and running until October 10, the Fiesta Lounge is not a car showroom, nor even an attempt to sell cars, says Meryl Meyer from TAOW Productions which is orchestrating a five-city Fiesta Lounge tour. Instead, it’s a way for Ford to create a local experience as an alternative to spending large amounts of money on a commercial, she says.
To underscore its commitment to the notion of locality, independent local businesses have been brought into the fold: on the walls of the large, concrete-floored space, along with black and white graphics by in-house Ford artist Gage Hamilton, are groupings of photos of local shopkeepers and business owners.
A retro photo booth in the center of the store lets customers snap pictures of themselves goofing around next to the Lounge’s two gleaming cars; and there are free Jones Sodas with customized labels for the taking.
Part of the goal, says Meyer, is to showcase a smaller car than many Americans are used to, and create an atmosphere that might help people imagine it fitting into their daily lives. The Fiesta has been a top-selling car in Europe for years, she adds.
Oh, and if you actually want to buy a car? The Lounge staff will refer you to the local Ford dealer. This place is all about the experience, not so much the transaction.