SHANGHAI, China — Ford is driving its smart SUV, the new Ford Kuga, to the center stage of China’s largest and most watched reality TV show. Partnering with China Dragon TV channel, Changan Ford, Ford’s joint venture in China, has become the exclusive title sponsor for Chinese Idol, the Chinese version of the hugely successful American Idol program.
As a star in Ford’s SUV family, the Ford Kuga featured heavily in the nationwide initial auditions and the three-month competition that began airing live on TV every weekend in May. The sponsorship has gained Ford and the new Kuga unprecedented exposure among Chinese consumers, especially the younger generation of car owners who appreciate the practicality and capability of a SUV.
“Chinese Idol presents an opportunity for people to follow their heart and to live their dreams with passion. The spirit of the show fits well with what we offer to our Chinese consumers through the Ford Kuga, which encourages people to take go further and never stop seeking possibilities in their lives and careers. l absolutely love the show!! There are so many talented people in China ". said Marin Burela, President and CEO of Changan Ford.
Millions of TV viewers and fans across China have been able to see the Ford Kuga commercials at prime time every Sunday night. As the official vehicle supplier, Changan Ford has provided a Ford Kuga fleet for official use during the show’s season.
To further engage employees, Ford offered tickets to employees from Ford Asia Pacific, Ford China, Ford Credit and Ford REC (Nanjing) to watch the live show in Shanghai. Participants were thrilled at the opportunity to join such a spectacular event supported by their own company.
“I’m so glad that I got the chance to watch the Chinese Idol live show. We were all dressed in Ford’s symbolic blue T-shirts. People were excited and had a lot of fun on-site,” said Adele Xu from the Product Development team who is based at Ford’s research and engineering facility in Nanjing. “It was quite a unique experience and I was so proud of Ford and our One Ford team.”
“It was really exciting to attend the Chinese Idol show on site. The Ford Oval and Go Further brand promise were displayed around the stadium entrances and the main stage. The whole country could see the Blue Oval brand on TV, and this definitely will enhance our brand communications. I feel very proud of Ford,” said Xu Xiang, one of the lucky participants from Ford’s Asia Pacific Marketing and Sales team.
Millions of TV viewers across the country were invited to participate in activities during the show and visit the micro blogging site of the show to win prizes. Lucky viewers can get the usage rights to a Ford Kuga for one year. Since the broadcasting of the first episode in May, Chinese Idol has attracted more than 700,000 followers on Weibo, China’s top micro-blogging site.
The show has attracted millions of followers since the first episode in May.
Thousand of fans gathered at the live show held in Shanghai.
One of the Chinese Idol campaigns on China’s popular micro blogging site Weibo.
Employees from Ford REC (Nanjing) cheer for the talented contestants.