All hands definitely on the Edge: Innovative Ford campaign

The new Ford Edge CUV, which hits the streets this month, was propelled by a campaign that represents the epitome of the new mediaverse plan - integrated across all touchpoints and within the media environment, and inviting frequent interaction.

The new Ford Edge CUV, which hits the streets this month, was propelled by a campaign that represents the epitome of the new mediaverse plan – integrated across all touchpoints and within the media environment, and inviting frequent interaction.

Edge marketing led off with pre-launch brand advertising from Y&R, with a movie trailer style teaser TV and cinema spot, featuring glam mysterious shots of the car while a v/o from Kiefer Sutherland advised ‘Patience, patience.’

Now, in addition to launch brand ads, a series of Global promos tease viewers to an online contest. The contest spots also mimic content, but rather than the vehicle, star a hero-type leading man, which Gaye McDonald, VP marketing ventures with CanWest MediaWorks, and architect of the promo campaign, says was created to put the focus on the ‘hero’ buyer.

What’s novel here is that the three 60s replicate the background environment of three popular Global series, and the hope was that on Oct. 30 when viewers first saw the spots’ leading man detecting away in a police HQ setting, they might momentarily think it was a scene from Prison Break. Ditto for his doctor turn in the spot airing during House, or his high roller act destined for Las Vegas commercial breaks on Nov. 3.

In each promo the hero solves crime, saves lives and generally wins large, but is frustrated by one thing, ‘how to stay on the Edge.’ Each spot intrigues viewers to check out www.stayontheedge.ca to win an Edge, in what is essentially a digital version of the old ‘keep your hand on the car’ game. The contest, developed by Y&R, encourages frequent participation as only a certain number of virtual hands can be on the cyber CUV at once, so contestants get bumped off and alerted back by e or SMS to have another go.

Not only does the chameleon hero approach fit with Ford’s aspirational over vehicle-feature driven strategy, it meshes with the auto giant’s push into entertainment. Peter Jansen, VP crossover & CUV communications manager with Ford Motor Company of Canada, says of the approach: ‘We wanted to integrate and engage, and to break through with entertainment. And it doesn’t stop here, we’ll take it to print as well with the National Post, and web activity on the Ford and CanWest sites.’ The Post ads involve a unique gatefold launch ad followed by multiple vertical insertions and innovative edge-of-page executions.

Jansen says the crossover market is growing dramatically, and the Edge ‘represents Ford’s new face.’ The midrange (starts at $32,999) model will skew slightly younger for the category, so indexed well with the CanWest shows which span the Edge’s target M/F 30s/40s demo. The promos will also air in similarly-genred shows, and the Las Vegas series will also include virtual product integration. And all that, according to McDonald, ‘is environmental advertising at its finest.’