OAKVILLE – Ford answered the call of global Focus fans and created the all new 2012 Ford Focus, redefining the small car category in North America. To introduce the Focus, show off its unique new design and prove its driving dynamics, Ford Motor Company Canada, Limited decided to see if Canadian bloggers and online influencers were up for a challenge: The 2012 Ford Focus Challenge.
This high energy challenge attracted influencers from different niches, including parenting, technology, photography and fashion. The event was kicked off in Toronto, then went to Montreal, Quebec City and finished in Vancouver.
To begin, participants were paired up, handed the keys to a brand new 2012 Focus and given a hint to get them to their first challenge. This program was like none other − set up as a city wide scavenger hunt, each stop gave everyone the opportunity to learn about the Focus' many features in a fun and interactive way. For example, to explain the active grille shutters and the horsepower, participants were brought to a horse ranch where they had food from the grille and got to pet the horses. In Montreal the group drove on a track with a Mustang as the pace car. Each stop allowed the influencers to take pictures, tweet, blog and most importantly learn information about the vehicle.
This unique program reached out to a group of journalist and influencers who were all new to the brand. Although the participants had never attended a Ford media event, they were curious and geared up for what was to come. Several of them had online debates on who would win the 'challenge' prior to the event even starting.
"No other auto manufacturer is doing programs like this," said Grant Le Riche, Say Media. "Everyone had a ton of fun. And it's nice to see such a progressive event working with passionate lifestyle influencers like the bloggers in attendance."
After the event hit all four cities, Twitter was the main source of impressions, with 659 unique tweets and more than 167,247 individuals following the influencers. The hashtag #focuschallenge was used for the Toronto and Vancouver program and #FocusQC for the Montreal and Quebec City program. Hashtags provide participants and fans an area to search and converse about the Focus Challenge. They allow Twitter users to virtually follow the event, see other participants and tag tweets related to the challenge.
Video cameras were provided to each pair to capture all of the features and experiences of the day. The participants took turns driving the vehicle so both could get a feel for the new Focus. The passenger was able to tweet, blog and tape the action, while the driver kept their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Here are a few tweets about the challenge:
- Learning about "Torque vectoring". Basically it makes your car do what you want it to do- and is a very slick sounding term. #focuschallenge - @LaurenO'Nizzle
- @lotsofolives I drive a 330hp+ V8 Lexus Coupe and I felt right at home in a 4cylinder Ford Focus. Excellent bang for the buck. - @cdot_in_tdot
- Completely not endorsed: Pleasantly shocked at all the impressive tech & features in a car below $30K. The 2012 Ford Focus. #focuschallenge - cdot_in_tdot
- Just parallel parked a car with no hands on the wheel. That was pretty fun. #focuschallenge - @miss604
- Big thank you to @FordCanada for a fabulous day yesterday at #focuschallenge. Once of the best presentation/fun days ever. Truly first class -@catherinebarr
With all of the tweets being positive, it is safe to say that the 2012 Ford Focus Challenge was a success.