Brand PR – Ford Motor Co.

The Challenge

Ford was experiencing a reputational decline among older Australians as manufacturing closure loomed in the near future. As a result, we needed to change the conversation and give Australians something to get excited about that also reinforced the fact that Ford was here to stay.

The Insight

The Ford Mustang resonates with Australian media and consumers more than any other topic, soliciting positive feedback, coverage and commentary across all our key audiences. We recognized an opportunity to use the iconic pony car as a calling card to media to change the conversation about Ford and drive positive news coverage.

The Strategy

Built around leveraging the Mustangs ability to activate key audiences, our approach was to amplify three key activities in the lead up to, during and after Mustangs landed on Australian soil. Firstly, to create noise and excitement for Mustang coming to Australia, we aligned with one of the most globally visible events – the 2014 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebration. Through a partnership with the City of Sydney we created the ultimate NYE Midnight Kiss in the back of a convertible Mustang to capture a compelling visual that would get us national – and global – attention. To amplify when the first Mustangs arrived in Australia, the team chose to offer Channel 7 exclusive access to the ships delivering the Mustangs, along with a videographer and photographer to capture content which was then pitched out to the other networks, alongside a Mustang test drive opportunity. Recognizing that Mustang content performs well on Ford’s social channels, we created various content series to promote interaction and encourage positive engagements. Mustang now acts as a calling card for fans to interact with the Ford brand, and to cross-promote other vehicles in the range.

The Result

The Mustang launch and sustainment campaign was a huge success achieving significant traditional and social media success in Australia and abroad:

The midnight kiss was published by 54 online news and print outlets in Australia and globally achieving a total reach of more than 241 million people

Blanket coverage achieved across all major Melbourne metro news outlets when Mustangs arrived

Mustang social content increased positive sentiment and engagement with key audiences

Overall, activities contributed to an unprecedented number of pre-launch orders, leading to nearly 7,000 orders being placed within the first year of Mustangs coming to Australia.