SILVER—Best Use of Games, Contests, and Sweepstakes
BRONZE—Best Cross-Platform Promotion Using Interactive Channels
It’s nothing new for auto manufacturers to advertise on TV. Creating a network primetime series to promote a vehicle, on the other hand, was definitely new when Ford Motor Co. and agency Team Detroit did just that in spring 2012.
Ford’s Escape SUV had been in the market for a dozen years, but the 2013 model had a dramatically different design. To communicate the benefits of the design and other features to its target audience of women in their 20s and 30s, Ford looked to the competitive adventure reality shows that they like. Rather than simply sponsor one such show, though, Ford created Escape Routes, a six-week series in which six teams of two drivers traveled to a different city each week in a new Escape, competing in challenges to win $100,000—and yes, an Escape as well.
NBC agreed to air the show. Television was only one medium with which viewers could engage with the program, however. A website allowed users to interact with a particular team through live chats and to play daily challenges that influenced each team’s actions throughout the week—for instance, at one point the teams needed their online followers to take part in a quiz to unlock their mobile phones before they could proceed with the next challenge.
Popular blogger iJustine served as the program’s digital host, vlogging and hosting live Twitter wrap-ups after each episode. Ford also enlisted bloggers in each of the six featured cities to meet the competitors, attend challenges, and write about the local events.
Airing from late March to early May, Escape Routes had a cumulative viewership of 7.65 million. Nearly 40,000 people registered on EscapeRoutes.com, and the site generated 3.3 million page views. The series generated116 million tweets, 64 million Facebook impressions, and more than 65,000 Facebook likes. And metrics such as purchase consideration and brand opinion rose in response to the campaign as well.