Summer blockbusters always provide an opportunity for me to play my favorite game: “spot the product placement.” Companies whose products are just background fodder (like a can of Pepsi strategically held for maximum logo visibility by the actor) don’t score as high in my book as brands that seamlessly become a part of the movie.
Not everyone has Chevy’s same opportunity, basically introducing their new Camaro as 80s cartoon icon and current movie “star,” Bumblebee. Plenty of creative opportunities still exist for translating that same kind of brand engagement through an integrated marketing campaign. Ford Motor Company provides one great example.
The struggling automaker launched its six-month Fiesta Movement campaign in April to promote the 2010 release of its European compact, the Ford Fiesta, to Generation Y. While not as flashy as Bumblebee, Ford’s recent sponsorship is a great example of how a creative, properly integrated campaign continues to draw awareness from its target audience.
Some audiences are more prone to waste time than others. And while some of us scoff at those silly Facebook quizzes, certain B2C businesses could potentially benefit from a fun quiz that understands its audience, and is a part of a much larger, integrated marketing campaign. While Ford didn’t use a Facebook quiz, its recent video game sponsorship did tie into the Fiesta Movement in a subtle, creative way.
Ford Motor Company’s sponsorship of “HoverKart,” a recently released game by OMGPOP, shows the brand understands its audience. Using a “Konami Code,” a game cheat code developed in the 80s, OMGPOP created a programming “Easter Egg” to replace standard cars with a pimped out version of the Ford Fiesta.
Mashable reports so far the game has been played 1.3 million times for a whopping 36,000 hours of “wasted” time. Hmmm … perhaps some 20-year-old’s time could have been more productively spent on other endeavors, but the game doesn’t waste one second for Ford.
Please don’t think I’m advocating that every business sponsor a video game or go create a Facebook quiz. I’m saying quite the opposite. Ford’s Fiesta Movement is showing companies how to integrate social media marketing with other tactics that make sense for engaging a specific audience.
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