Tag Archives: car giveaways

Ford Mimics Movie Ads

Auto advertising for seasonal clear-out sales are often boring. Many look the same.

The most common ingredients are running footage, someone talking VERY loudly and on-screen deals. Sometimes the marketers use existing commercials, but shorten them to add in info about the special deals.

The Ford brand thinks it has a better idea for its sales event this summer.

The Big Idea for Ford’s so-called “Summer Spectacular”event stemmed from the annual hot-weather blockbuster season for movies.

Each of the dozen new : 30 spots looks like a movie trailer. The first few seconds of all the spots are the same, showing the name “Ford,” but no cars. In addition, there’s four separate versions aimed at the Hispanic market, starring actor Cristian de la Fuente.

The brand believes the executions will not only break through the clutter, but boost the brand’s image and consideration, David Mondragon, general marketing manager for Ford and Lincoln, told me. Ford has increased favorable opinion on its brand by 20 points since 2008.

Ford’s ad agency, WPP Group’s TeamDetroit in Dearborn, tapped two Hollywood directors known for their prolific work on movie trailers. Kurt Mattila and Kyle Cooper, both of Prologue Films,have worked on movie trailers, including 2008′s “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk,”: respectively.

Here’s one of my favorites– for the C-Max Hybrid- directed by Cooper

The Focus spot directed by Mattila features a love-sick vampire trying to convince his girlfriend not to break up with him. Other movie genres include the Super Duty pickup as a super hero; surfing for the Fiesta and a spy-chase for the Mustang GT.

But when you’re creating so many unique spots, there’s bound to be one or two that just aren’t as compelling.

To me, that’s this one- for the Escape, called “The Heist”

While it does cover the bases for the Escape’s cool features and benefits, it just feels forced.

You can see all the spots here

 FYI, during a Google hangout Ford’s social media maven Scott Monty did with director Mattila, it leaked that Ford will be making a special product announcement at Comic-Con International’s Convention coming up later this week in San Diego.

 In the past, Ford has used TV star and narrator Mike Rowe for sales events. Mondragon told me Rowe “is a great asset for Ford,” having narrated the recently-ended Eco Boost Challenge ads, and still doing Ford service and and truck ads.

Earlier this year, the brand’s regional dealer advertising adopted the same ad creative process used by the national team. Instead of just TeamDetroit developing the creative, multiple WPP shops get Ford’s brief and submit ideas, Mondragon said.

The TV buy includes both national and regional, airing through August. Ford and its regional dealer ad associations are spending as much on media for this as for the national buy. The buy includes 90% of movie theaters in the US during July and August, says. Mondragon, who served CEO of Ford of Canada for more than three years,

To extend buzz and reach, the media plan is integrated with a movie-ticket giveaway on moviefone.com, called the Summer Spectacular Movie Ticket Giveaway plus $3 off movie rentals on Amazon.com.

Ford will soon be announcing four movie nights that will take over theaters to display vehicles, show the ads and offer a movie to hand-raisers. Dealers will also be inviting customers.

The automaker started the Ford Summer Spectacular Giveaway of 2013 models this month. To enter to win one of the 10 vehicles, visitors to fordeventgiveaway.com must view videos touting the product features and benefits. The site has a link to Facebook if visitors want to get their friends involved.

It’s encouraging to see Ford trying something different for a sales event.

Doing something different doesn’t always work, as evidenced by the Limited Engagement Spring Event work this year from Nissan’s Infiniti brand.

Check it out and you’ll see what I mean

At first glance doesn’t it seem to be a clothing commercial? It IS visually interesting, but it takes too long to get to the point. Sorry, TBWA/Chiat/Day- it’s off the mark.

One male viewer on YouTube posted this wise crack :“Guys, the takeaway from this commercial is: Drive an Infiniti and the ladies’ clothes will just fall right off “

Clearly, that wasn’t what Infiniti was going for.

 MAKING TRACKS: Congrats to David Murphy, who is moving to Michigan to become president-USA of WPP’s TeamDetroit in Dearborn on August 1. davidMurphyTeamDetroit

Murphy has worked on car accounts over his career, including Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover and Toyota.

Follow me, Jean Halliday on LinkedIn and Facebook.  On Twitter @jhal2001

Hyundai’s College Football Play

Hyundai Motor America has certainly beefed up its tie-in with college football, which the automaker said has some of the world’s most passionate fans.

Hyundai dipped its toe in the water back in 2010, when it inked a 4-year deal to be the title sponsor of the Sun Bowl with El Paso, Texas area dealers.  Last year, the automaker upped the ante by sponsoring 15 schools, doing  64 on-site, stadium displays, print ads, online and local media support, as well as in-game ads in 13  games across ABC networks, including ESPN and ESPN2.

Interpublic Group of Co.’s Initiative+ is Hyundai’s USA media agency of record and has done a great job of integrating all the pieces here.

This season Hyundai is supporting 25 programs and staging 151 events at college stadiums across the nation. The automaker is in its second season as presenting sponsor of 12 of ESPN’s “Thursday Night Kickoff” broadcasts. The 2013 model Santa Fe is the main vehicle tied to the effort, with a modified “Ultimate Tailgate” version of the compact crossover model making the rounds at games.

By the way, the Santa Fe is also the sponsor of ABC TV’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Hyundai proclaims Santa Fe “the official car of Helping Parents 2 Rock,”a tip of the hat to the nightly musical performers on Kimmel’s outdoor stage. The new Santa Fe is getting plenty of plug on Kimmel

GM’s Pontiac  brand was the first sponsor of Kimmel’s stage, then called the  Pontiac Garage, but Bud Light beer took over that slot several years ago.

Hyundai is airing ads during ESPN’s pre-game football shows as well as in games, including a presence in 25 games on Thursdays and Saturdays across ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC.

Whew. But wait- there’s more!

The automaker is working with Chicago-based sports marketer expert Intersport for a 4-part series spotlighting the best of the current college football season. The latest installment of “Hyundai Presents College Football Uncut” will air this Saturday, November 16 on CBS at 2:30 pm ET.  Smartly, Hyundai , cut deals to also make the series available on Hulu.com, Amazon and Sony PlayStation.

“College football fans wear their colors more proudly than any other fan base,” said Steve Shannon, VP-marketing at Hyundai. “Reaching fans not only through TV but also at stadiums where that passion is rooted gives us a more genuine connection to the sport and those that love it as much as we do.”

As if all this isn’t enough, Hyundai is also in the midst of a sweepstakes, asking college football fans to post photos that emulate their team loyalty to hyundaishowyour loyalty.com. Check out the :30 spot from Hyundai’s ad agency and corporate affiliate, Innocean Worldwide Americas in Huntington Beach, California, promoting the contest

Is it just me or does the narrator Jeff Bridges saying Hyundai’s fans show their loyalty by “just buying another Hyundai” sound too boastful? I realize the video is touting Hyundai’s loyalty, but it comes across as too smug.

Hyundai has been down this smug road before – not once but twice since it started selling cars in the US in 1986. Disaster resulted in both instances. So it’s scary to see some echos of Hyundai’s hubris bowing its ugly head again.

Also, sounding smug in advertising is not a good place to be after Hyundai’s embarrassing admission that it overstated fuel economy ratings on its vehicles. After talks with the EPA, which certifies mpg for new cars, Hyundai is voluntarily dropping the mpg on some 900,000 (or 35 %) of  2011 through 2013 model year vehicles sold through October 31 and is reimbursing owners.

Meantime, rabid college football fans are posting like mad on Hyundai’s Facebook and Twitter pages for the sweeps. One lucky fan will win a new 2013 Santa Fe, which the spot doesn’t even mention. The other prize, also not mentioned in the spot, is a two-night trip for 4 people to a college football game.

The only prize that IS mentioned in the commercial is a chance to be in an upcoming Hyundai commercial.

THAT will be interesting.

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Follow me, Jean Halliday, on LinkedIn, Forbes.com and Facebook.

Also on Twitter @jhal2001