DEARBORN - Nearly Double, Ford’s 90 second spotlight, was set out to be more than just a TV ad during the Super Bowl. With a result of more than 50 percent of people rating Ford as a leader in fuel-efficient vehicles after seeing the ad, it did just that.
“Third-party studies indicate that two out of three people who saw the ad say it increased their opinion of the Ford brand,” said Scott Kelly, manager, Marketing Communications.
With the help of Ford dealers and employees, Ford’s ‘Nearly Double’ Super Bowl campaign not only increased Ford Fusion sales, but improved the favorable opinion of the brand. Kelly had intricate roles in developing the ‘Nearly Double’ campaign. Take a look at the Q-and-A below to find out more.
Q. What were we trying to accomplish with the Super Bowl ad?
Kelly: One of the things we have been very focused on lately is improving the favorable opinion of the Ford brand. There are many people who have a great opinion of Ford and buy Ford. There’s another large group of people who have a good opinion of the brand but not good enough to want to buy our products. Many of these people are import car customers who among other things believe Ford does not make fuel-efficient cars that meet their needs. We wanted to use the large stage that the Super Bowl provides to talk about the Fusion and the remarkable fuel economy of the Fusion Hybrid.
Q. Where did the concept of Nearly Double come from?
Kelly: We arrived rather quickly at the idea to showcase the Fusion because it is such a fantastic product and we’ve only begun to get the word out on the new model. We also knew we wanted to talk about the great fuel economy of the Fusion and the fact we had a Fusion Hybrid.
As close as we are to Ford products there are still many people in the country that don’t realize Ford makes a Hybrid. We wanted to talk about the fuel economy in a way that was more memorable than just stating an EPA rating. Every automaker throws out EPA ratings in their ads. While they provide a common benchmark for comparison, sometimes consumers can get confused with the clutter of all those numbers in all the ads.
Rather than just stating our 47mpg, we chose to tell people that it is actually “nearly double” the average vehicle fuel economy. We think that is a statement that would surprise and impress most people. The entire ad is focused on reinforcing the message.
Q. What result are we seeing now after the Super Bowl ad?
Kelly: We are very pleased with the results we are seeing. One of the challenges with a Super Bowl ad is the most entertaining ads are not always the most effective. We could have created a very entertaining ad with babies, horses and puppy dogs but we wanted an effective ad that drove interest in Fusion.
Some of the other automotive ads in particular may have been entertaining but did very little to drive interest in their products. For example, less than 50 percent of people actually reported that the Chrysler ad was for Chrysler. The results we’re seeing confirms we made the right choice.
We monitored consumer reaction to the ad itself through a third party who ranked our ad as the highest performing non-luxury ad (only Hyundai’s ad for the luxury Genesis performed better). We drove significant traffic to Ford.com and increased discussion online about the Fusion. Kelley Blue Book reported Fusion Hybrid was the most searched nameplate during the game and a measure of online requests to contact a dealer were higher for Fusion than for any other model advertised during the game.
Q. What role does social media play in this?
Kelly: Social media was a huge part of this program and helped us to extend the reach beyond just a TV ad. The buzz about our ad started while we were still shooting our commercial when tabloid photographers caught James Franco on set, which got people talking online. We then asked employees and dealers to help share teasers videos a week before the Super Bowl. During the game, we had team members from Ford and our ad agency monitoring online discussions and engaging in realtime with people on various social networks.
Q. How did this differ from previous advertisements?
Kelly: Since we had 90 seconds of time to work with we wanted to make the ad memorable and ensure we reinforced the “nearly double” fuel economy message. We actually split the time into a 30 second ad immediately followed by a 60 second ad which is twice as long and twice as awesome.
We worked with some big name celebrities as well. The celebrities were chosen based on their appeal and strong social following. James Franco in particular has a huge following including nearly 1.7 million followers on Twitter. We worked with them to help get the word out about “nearly double”, during and after the game.