Automotive companies generally advertise via tv spots, newspaper ads and social media campaigns. Ford Motor Company is trying something new by advertising its new electric car, the electric Ford Focus via product placements in a new internet reality show produced by Yahoo which can be viewed exlusively on Yahoo Screen; Yahoo’s destination for premium online video content.
Yahoo’s reality show is called “Plugged In” and it’s a competition based reality show. Teams of two will search for clues in various cities across the nation including Los Angeles and New York and compete for the grand prize; an electric Ford Focus. Ten episodes will be posted in total on a weekly basis. Each episode will feature a celebrity host.
Online Entertainment Is Taking Over
Ford’s marketing approach was created to target at the young and affluent; studies have shown that younger consumers spend more time online than ever before. With the advent of sites such as Hulu and Netflix, younger consumers are more likely to watch their favorite shows online instead of on television. Ford is expected to promote the show via banner ads online. One of the main advantages of online advertising is that the associated expenses are generally significantly more affordable than traditional tv spots.
Advertising Combined With Storytelling
Ford’s approach is unique because it combines the art of storytelling with advertising. Savvy social media users are more likely to respond to advertising that is blended with useful or entertaining content instead of clicking on a banner ad. Promoting a vehicle through a competitive internet show is more likely to garner views since the series is actually entertaining and after all, who doesn’t love a fun reality show? We can expect more companies to embrace this approach as social media continues to play a bigger role in our daily lives.
The Ford Focus electric can expect to see quite a bit of competition from exisiting electric autos currently available in showrooms including the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. Despite high gasoline prices, most Americans aren’t eager to fork over $40,000 for an electric car. In addition, dealers such as Enterprise Car Sales offer traditional vehicles that are a lot more efficient yet still affordable. Given the intense competition, it will be very interesting to see how Ford will do with this groundbreaking campaign.
Written by Jacqueline Starz – Both big corporate companies such as Ford Motor Company as well as local businesses such as Dallas Ford Dealerships can benefit from a strategy that combines unique and creative content with an integrated sales offer.