Ford has called on its fans to work together to unlock the details of its new Ford Fusion in a transmedia campaign designed to drum up excitement ahead of the launch.
The campaign kicked off with an online video message from celebrity Ryan Seacrest, who is fronting the campaign, giving consumers a clue to team up to find out how they could get the chance to experience the all-new Ford Fusion first.
Fans solved the first puzzle revealing the addition of celebrity personalities, Joel McHale and Kate Micucci as well as revealing how consumers could get involved with the first “Random Acts of Fusion” experience.
The Random Acts of Fusion campaign will “play out over time through a story arc across a variety of media channels that will be driven by digital and experiential platforms while also including radio, broadcast and social media.”
Rolling out over a number of months to countdown the launch of the new car, Random Acts of Fusion will combine entertainment, social media and events to engage consumers with the new car before it lands in showrooms.
Ford will launch new content every day – including contests and local pop-up events - to maintain the storytelling narrative and to enable consumers to experience a unique element of the car.
Crystal Worthem, manager, Ford Brand Content & Alliances, said: "The new Fusion is a transformational vehicle and we wanted to give consumers the opportunity to be part of this transformation through the unexpected experiences and entertainment provided by Random Acts of Fusion. Over the next few months, we are giving fans a never-been-done-before experience by combining social media, entertainment and unexpected events that will allow them to interact with Fusion all across the country."
This campaign is the latest in a string of content-heavy, socially connected activity from the car brand, which has invested a lot in turning around the Ford brand and positioning it as an innovative market leader in the American car market.
Ford shifted its focus to new models and supported this through new and dynamic marketing activity around them. The Ford Fusion, a new car set to challenge the Toyota Camry, is one of its most significant product launches in America to date. It is fitting then, that Ford is supporting it with a transmedia campaign aimed at engaging and mobilising consumers to connect with the car before it even hits the streets.
Ford has flexed its muscles as an innovative marketer in the past, Gymkhana was a major hit for the brand and Fiesta Movement helped Ford establish its positioning as an innovative market leader. With Random Acts of Fusion, Ford is looking to cement this positioning with a campaign spanning numerous channels and platforms, supported by major advertising push and backed up with events all over the United States.
To Ford, this transmedia campaign is all about game changing, the brand has launched a market leading strategy and approach for what it believes is a market leading vehicle and brand. The content pushes the Fusion's innovative features and then enlists the consumers to test drive and endorse the vehicle.
The campaign aims to push the idea of unexpected and this is reinforced by the events and experiences, Ford wants this campaign to surprise, delight and change people's perceptions of a Ford car.
Central to this campaign is this idea of surprise and sponteniety, Ford is looking to target the safe and comfortable Camry drivers and inject a bit of adventure into their lives to help punture the day to day. The mid-size car market is the middle ground, it's safe and to many it's boring. What Ford is seeking to do is throw a bit of surprise and fun at the category to help the car stand out in this market with personality and fun.
The celebrities work well with Ryan Seacrest covering mass appeal, while Joel McHale and Kate Micucci are there to appeal to the core target market of 30-somethings. The incentives are good, the prizes are good and the audience is mobilised and engaged.
While this type of transmedia campaign is not new, the challenge/puzzle/treasure hunt style campaign has been done before but the scale that Ford brings to it is impressive. Ford is aiming to connect with consumers via every touchpoint, the campaign is all encompassing and its aim to put the car in the public domain and let people interact with it prior to launch is just a smart way to bolster the brand.
Ford have taken a lead from Apple in understanding the power of building hype and excitement prelaunch and given the scale of this campaign, it looks like they might knock this one out of the park.
Ford have already proven the brand is one of the most socially savvy, this campaign might also give them the top transmedia storyteller badge too.