As many as 25% of new-vehicle buyers have kids in high school, according to a 2013 survey, and 85% of new-vehicle buyers take a test-drive before making their purchase. Ford Motor Co. and agency Team Detroit incorporated these two seemingly disparate statistics to create Drive 4 UR School, a campaign that donated $20 to a local high school’s booster club for every test-drive.
Participating Ford dealers partnered with their local schools to host the one-day event. Ford provided the dealerships with promotional materials and giveaways, as well as with a website that featured best practices, an event-planning guide, examples of previous events, and other information to help them implement the event.
As well as donating $20 for every test-drive (up to $6,000 per school), dealerships that included a Quick Lane tire and auto center allowed test-drivers to receive a free inspection of their own vehicles for an additional donation. The spring event also incorporated an Instagram component, in which students participated in (and posted photos of) daily challenges to gain an additional $1,000 for their schools. Ford partnered with the Grammy Foundation for another program: Students and nonstudents alike nominated exceptional music teachers, and the 25 semifinalists were invited to host an event to raise up to $6,000 for their school’s music program.
Ford had hoped to generate 170,000 test-drives and 120,000 people to opt in to receive more information from the company. The campaign exceeded both goals, generating more than 194,000 test-drives and more than 133,000 hand-raisers requesting additional info. Of those test-drives, 1.3% converted into sales. And even those who didn’t buy a Ford thought more highly of the company following the campaign, with the brand enjoying a 20 percentage-point lift in favorable opinion.