December 22, 2010

Ford Goes All In On Video

Two months ago, Ford started its Ford Focus Global Test Drive contest. Winners receive a trip to Madrid, Spain where they will drive the new Ford Focus on a high-speed test track. They also get $10,000 to give to charity.

Video Play #1: To enter the contest, you must make a video telling Ford why you should be included in the test drive. The videos are submitted through the Focus Facebook page where fans can vote on their favorites.

Video Play #2: To build buzz around the contest, Ford invited some targeted bloggers with large reader bases to participate in the test drive. How were the bloggers invited? With a personalized video appeal directly from Ford employees, of course.

(Can't see the video? Click here.)

Scott Monty, Ford’s global director of social media, told blogger Becky Johns why the company relied on video so heavily.

“We decided to use personalized video invitations for the Focus Global Test Drive because we wanted to be sure we had the attention of the high-level influencers we wanted to reach. Moreover, we wanted to be sure that it would be in a format that they could easily share with their readers. We believe that video is one of the most personal and intimate ways to communicate online, and it’s also a medium that allows us to showcase our products at the same time. A video invitation, shared with the world, is basically one-on-one communication in the public square.”

Ford has advantages that make video a powerful marketing tool. Ford’s products are very visual and play well on video. It is a huge company that can afford to spend money to tell its story through high quality video.

But the key here is that Ford gets it. “We believe that video is one of the most personal and intimate ways to communicate online.” You don’t have to be a world class automaker to take advantage of video. You just have to believe in it.

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