Case Study: Ford Figo Discover Smart Drive

India Social Case Challenge- edition 2

Category: Best Short-term campaign

Title: Ford Figo Discover Smart Drive

Share a little about your organisation/ brand

Established in 1995, Ford India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader. Ford India manufactures and distributes automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facilities at Maraimalai Nagar, near Chennai. The company’s models include the Endeavour, Fiesta Classic and Figo.

Executive Summary

In October 2010, Ford wanted to celebrate the 50,000th production milestone of the Figo with its community in a way to get them engaged and excited, while at the same time strengthen connect with consumers across tier II cities.

Ford opened up an online contest and selected four young couples out of a total of almost 450 entries for a mission to discover smart places and activities. To bring experiential stories alive, these couples took turns to drive a Figo across 10 cities stretching across 2,500 kms for 25 days. Along the way, they shared their adventures and discoveries to the online community while the community shared their tips and suggestions. The couples stopped at Ford dealerships across cities and shared their stories with the media, tweetups were organized. Bloggers at various cities met up with them to share interesting driving stretches and tips.

By the end of the drive, the number of fans on the Ford Figo page on Facebook increased by more than 25,000. Over 600 updates on Facebook were posted during that month attracting 1.5 million views, 15,000 comments and likes. There were many more conversations on Twitter, Facebook and online forums around the drive. Media events were held across 10 cities and over 300 journalists in regional markets attended the events organized at various cities resulting in more than 150 media stories.

The monthly average of 35,000 plus enquiries of the Ford Figo jumped to 60,000 plus enquiries in October.

Nature of the programme/ activity/ campaign

Business to Consumer

Duration of the said programme/ activity/ campaign. Start date-end date

15 September, 2010 – 4 November, 2010 (Main drive was in October)

Background

By October 2010, just 6 months post its launch, Ford India was rolling out the 50,000th Ford Figo. Ford wanted to celebrate this with its customers, online fans, dealers, and other stakeholders.

Also while Ford had been organising various events with the Figo at various metro cities in India, it was also time to strengthen connect with consumers across tier II cities and introduce the Figo at these cities.

Ford Figo’s online community was growing and while Ford continued to answer fan queries and concerns, it was time to reinforce the message of the smart car in a manner that was exciting, fun and participative.

Objectives

Create interesting user experiences around the Figo, buzz among fans, and interest for potential customers

Strategy and planning

Ford organised a drive called ‘Ford Figo Discover Smart Drive’, which had four young couples going on a tour of India in a Figo to explore the scenic and local attractions of various cities and regions and in the process discover ‘smart’ places and activities.

The four young couples were selected from 450 online entries that were received from a call for entry at a microsite (now offline) and through Ford Figo fan page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/fordfigo), Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/fordfigo) and blog (http://www.drivingford.in). Independent auto bloggers were invited to be part of the jury. After the selection, the couples were also flown to Mumbai for a photo shoot and their pictures were later featured prominently in a Ford Figo advertising campaign on national dailies during the drive period.

Stakeholders

Fans, customers, influencers, dealers, employees, community, media

Choice of channel/s

Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Twitpic, YouTube and Foursquare.

Implementation

The 25 day, 2500 km, 10 cities drive in which the couples were travelling had a special design of the 50,000th Ford Figo milestone, painted by a popular artist.  Each couple drove a leg of the drive consisting of 3 cities.

Along the drive, the couples shared their journey stories, photos, videos and experiences on their Facebook and Twitter profiles and blogs and on the Ford Figo online communities on Facebook and Twitter.

Ford also had a photographer, videographer, and an official blogger to follow the couple in a support car and update almost real-time on the adventures for the online fans. Prominent lifestyle and auto bloggers were invited to meet the couples along the way. There were interesting contests and prizes organized for online fans following the drive and participating in the conversation. Fans were asked to share tips for the couples during their drive. The couple actively engaged with the fans and asked their opinions on various stages during the drive.

To create a fun competition among the couples, Ford also announced a ‘Most Loved Couple’ award that would go to the couple whose online updates got the maximum number of positive responses from Ford Figo fans. This encouraged the couples to come up with a number of unique and creative fun updates, pictures, postcards, and contests for the fans themselves. Some of them organized tweetups in various cities and online fans in those cities were invited to join them.

The couples stopped at various Ford dealerships in every city where media events were organized and they shared their stories to the local media.

Impact and Outcome

Key achievements:

  • Updates on the Ford Figo fan page on Facebook during the campaign received close to 1.5 million views
  • Over 600 updates were posted on Facebook by Ford and the ‘Discover Smart Drive’ couples attracting over 15,000 comments and likes during the drive
  • Number of fans increased by more than 25,000
  • Many more conversations on Twitter, Facebook and online forums around the drive
  • Over 300 journalists attended the media events organized at the dealerships in various cities resulting in more than 150 stories across the 10 Tier II cities along the route of the drive
  • Prominent lifestyle and auto bloggers wrote about the campaign on their blogs. Many of these bloggers attended the tweetups organized at various cities during the drive

Business impact:

  • Ford Figo’s sale peaked in October since its launch -  Ford achieved its highest ever wholesales of Figo since launch, highest ever orders booked in a month, highest SMS leads since launch, and highest bookings received in a single day since launch
  • Monthly average of 35,000 plus enquiries of the Ford Figo jumped to 60,000 plus enquiries in Octobe

Learnings

Discover Smart Drive became a high decibel digital campaign that integrated in Ford India’s advertising campaign. It not only excited the online fans community but resonated well across other stakeholders including customers, dealers, employees, media and the community.

The idea of discovering smart places and smart activities was also well received by customers and fans of the Ford Figo. The messaging and design of the 50,000th Ford Figo on the car prominently appeared in the media stories.

What next

Discover Smart Drive was a success for Ford and a similar drive was organised from January to March 2011 though at a regional level. Instead of driving across the country, the drive focused on driving across a particular State or region. A national level drive just like the one in 2010 is being explored currently.

Testimonials

Discover Smart Drive has helped us connect and thank consumers across India. The Figo has achieved outstanding results.

Michael Boneham, president and managing director, Ford India

 

True to its concept, the Discover Smart Drive enabled the lucky couples to explore smart things about India along with smart features of the Figo. Using an integrated approach involving digital, marketing and our growing dealer network, we were able to take the Figo to consumers’ doorstep and have multiple positive conversations on new mediums. The response that we have got from this campaign has taken Figo’s popularity to a different level. We thank our online supporters also in this endeavour.

Nigel E Wark, executive director, Marketing, Sales and Services, Ford India

External Agencies: Any partners who helped you with strategy

Genesis BursonMarsteller

Puretech Internet Private Ltd

JWT

External Agencies: Any partners who helped you with implementation.

Genesis BursonMarsteller

Puretech Internet Private Ltd

JWT

Flaunge Media Productions

Suitable title

Ford Figo Discover Smart Drive

Fact Sheet

Name of Company: Ford India/ Ford Figo

Category: Automotive

Case Study submitted by: Palin Ningthoujam

Website: http://www.india.ford.com