Ford makes a smoothie from ingredients in its cars

The automaker wants to show off innovation novel to the category: the sustainable, plant-based materials it uses to make its parts.

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Ford has found a fresh new way to spread the word about the sustainable ingredients it uses to make its vehicles – real fresh.

The company has created a branded smoothie, giving Canadians the opportunity to drink a Ford – or parts of one, at least. The smoothie includes ingredients found in Ford vehicles today – rice, soy and coconut – as well as ingredients being researched for possible uses in the future, such as orange, agave, algae and prickly pear.

wild-postingsWhile the automaker’s brand is clearly established, the stunt is intended to highlight a fact that may otherwise go unnoticed – and one that is becoming increasingly culturally relevant: sustainability has been quite literally built into the Ford brand for decades, dating as far back as the 1940s and the “Soybean Car,” which the company claimed at the time used soybeans to make plastic parts.

“What we’re trying to do is find a new and unexpected way to communicate a message that is very precise and straightforward: Ford vehicles are made with sustainable products,” says Max Geraldo, CCO at BBDO Canada, which developed the smoothie campaign. “That’s the challenge these days, and what makes my job as a creative interesting: finding a new way to communicate a message that is unique to the product, but not to society.”

Ford is the best-selling auto brand in Canada so far in 2021, where it also leads the pickup truck category and has models in the top five of the competitive mid-size and large SUV segments. The company has been at the forefront of innovation since the company pioneered the assembly line, Gerlado adds, but has others it has not been as vocal about.

Ford has used soy-based foam inside seats since 2007, materials from coconuts in interior plastic since 2011 and the hull from rice to support electric harnesses since 2015. Much of its further experiments have been focused on how waste from plants and food could be used for its materials: it partnered with tequila brand Jose Cuervo in 2016 to begin exploring how to use leftovers fibres from agave in creating bioplastic.

The goal with the smoothie is to bring innovations – other than the in-car technology, safety features and specs typical of auto advertising – forward in the brand’s marketing.

“We’re trying to get into someone’s life in a different way, and inviting them to interact with Ford in a way they’ve never done before. We’re infusing them with the brand,” says Geraldo.

The smoothie is supported by a full campaign incorporating social and online video, OOH in Toronto and Montreal, and influencer support. People can find more information on a microsite created specifically for the beverage.