If Amanda is one thing, she is charming. And this site showcases that perfectly.
At first I was a bit confused. What was this all about? What was the Ford connection? There seemed to be nothing on the page to introduce me to the journey, et cetera. But then, I grabbed a beer, took off my ad guy hat and navigated back to amandacongedon.com. Things began to make sense.
What I gleaned from her Wikipedia entry, Myspace profile and FAQs is that Amanda is a bright girl with a great on-screen presence. She is taking a journey across America in a hybrid vehicle and is bringing us along for the ride. The site has a very homemade look and feel-- the video is shaky and the unscripted dialogue does not always deliver. And that is what I love most about it. So often, advertisers are putting together manufactured versions of "Amanda" that are run through the filter to be un-slick. But there can be no substitute for reality, and we empathize and enjoy Amanda's organic company. She wrestles with words, just like we all do. She listens to the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! She is silly, energetic and wholly watchable.
Amanda is perfect in her imperfection, and that is what makes the site work.
-- J Barbush, associate creative director, interactive, RPA
What a great lineup of folks that Amanda Congdon has put together for this vlogger journey. Craigslist's Craig, A really cool VC guy from Apple, Jeff Jarvis, that Atrios guy. Cool to see these guys where they work and live-- actually it is cool just to SEE these guys. I know Ford is a sponsor and provided the hybrid vehicle that took them across the USA, but I didn't notice any overbearing corporate presence, or any at all for that matter.
I will say this. I am glad that I came to this blog a little late and ended up watching the episodes in close to reverse order, because if I had watched the "AND SO, IT BEGINS" kickoff entry first, I don't think I would have stayed around. I know everyone loves Amanda and all, and I'll probably be banned from the internet(s) for saying so, but I found her whole shtick really, really grating. Thankfully, she keeps that obnoxious side of her personality pretty much in check for the majority of the blog. I'll be back.
-- David T. Jones, SVP, executive creative director, emerging platforms, FCB