Ford’s personalized video pitches target key players

Automaker’s 2012 test-drive campaign targets an elite cadre of journalists, bloggers and tweeters—and by extension, their vast audiences.

Imagine logging on to Facebook or your e-mail to find a YouTube video directed specifically at you. The person in the video uses your name, talks about work you’ve done in the past and personally invites you to come meet him or her in Spain.

For a group of about 10 writers (and counting) Ford deemed most influential, that’s exactly what happened when Ford Motor Co. posted invitations to its upcoming Focus Global Test Drive.

“Everybody gets e-mail. That’s kind of the standard approach for pitching these days,” says Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford. “We wanted something that stood out. We wanted something that was a little bit of a teaser in terms of showing the vehicle and showing where they might be going or what they might be experiencing.”

Using a model similar to Old Spice’s personalized videos, Ford has brought a human face to its invitation to the test-drive event.

Picking targets

The 2012 Focus test drive is open to just 100 people, Monty says, so the automaker wanted to make sure it contacted the ideal writers to capture their full attention—and, ultimately, their audiences.

“We looked geographically and categorically at the types of influencers that we wanted,” he says.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.