Ford – Mustang Midnight Kiss 2015

Description and Assignment

Ford Motor Company has undergone many changes in the past 18 months as it transforms its business in Australia. To better position the company to compete in a highly fragmented and competitive market, Ford set out to transform the brand on the strength of its exciting products and technologies, leading the way with the globally iconic Mustang.

With this challenging business landscape in mind, Pulse needed to generate positive discussion around the brand to put it into a new and relevant context for a new young generation of customers know as ‘new pioneers’.

Challenge

Drive purchase consideration and relevance for the Ford brand by highlighting the arrival of the Ford Mustang

Generate Ford coverage that heroes the Mustang

Research & Insight

After conducting an extensive social and traditional media audit, Pulse established that the Ford Mustang (which will launch in Australia late in 2015), was the nameplate that resonated most with our social fans and media influencers. The audit showed that coverage and conversation surrounding Ford Mustang generated significant positive feedback and commentary across key audiences.

As a result, our key insight centred around creating excitement and news around the Ford Mustang prior to its arrival in Australia in 2015, in order to shift perception of Ford as a whole.

Creative Strategy

The strategy focused on making Mustang the star and giving people a reason to celebrate Ford. Our idea was to align with one of the world’s most visible and celebrated events – the 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks. We forged a partnership with the City of Sydney to create a unique experience for Sydneysiders at the #FordNYE event at Dawes Point, but also a compelling visual that would get us national – and global – attention. The Ford Midnight Kiss was born.

To capture this attention, we married the vehicle with a culturally relevant and timely happening – the first kiss of 2015. Our concept involved putting a couple in the backseat of a Ford Mustang for the kiss. But not with any old backdrop. With a completely unobscured view of the Harbour and the Harbour Bridge secured by placing the Mustang on top of one of Sydney’s most iconic skyscrapers.

Creative Execution

Pre-Moment Assets

To create not one but two media moments we firstly captured the installation of the Mustang on the rooftop both with compelling photo and video content. The image of the car being lifted between the sails of the iconic Opera House was published by the Daily Telegraph (circ. 271,185) in a half page article mentioning Ford’s NYE partnership two days ahead of the event along with 2015 Mustang messaging.

Midnight Kiss Moment

On the most competitive night of the year for global media coverage Pulse had to capture a second image that would attract global attention. Pulse photographed the winning couple kissing at midnight in the ‘best seats in the house’ as the fireworks exploded all around them overlooking the harbour bridge.

Influencer Engagement

Ford engaged four famous musicians, Milky Chance, Ella Hooper, Gossling and Zeek Power to act as social influencers as part of an integrated social strategy. On the night they shared 71 social media posts reaching 818,940 people in real time.

To maximise the full potential of the Ford Mustang’s sponsorship of the NYE events in Sydney, our tactics were designed to create a series of opportunities to drive earned media coverage and social media conversation.

A kiss at midnight is synonymous with New Year’s Eve celebrations but placing a vehicle on a rooftop, with unobscured views was an original photo moment. The image of the vehicle atop the skyscraper was one of its kind and generated significant positive attention at a time of significant brand transformation, whilst celebrating the vehicles first public appearance in Australia.

We knew the image and content that preceded it needed to be impactful and original to get pick up across the globe, an objective we were successful in achieving.

Evaluation of Success / Measurement

The campaign generated 253 pieces of coverage spanning five continents, reaching more than 247 million people. On social we reached a total of 10,365,416 people and obtained 82,862 video views. The campaign achieved the largest share of voice for any automotive brand during the Dec 28 to Jan 4 timeframe – beating reputational leader Toyota by 4%. Ford also achieved its highest favourability rating for 12 months in its brand tracker.