FORD ECOSPORT by J. Walter Thompson Bogota for Ford

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FORD ECOSPORT

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Industry Cars
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Colombia
Agency J. Walter Thompson Bogota
Creative Director Jaime Arturo Perea Chacon
Art Director Nicolas Acosta
Released December 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Automotive and Transport
Advertiser: FORD
Product/Service: CAR LAUNCH
Creative Vice President: Rodrigo Torres (JWT Colombia)
Creative Director: Jaime Perea (JWT Colombia)
Art Director: Nicolas Acosta (JWT Colombia)
Writer: Antonio Garcia (Writer)
Writer: Andres Burgos (Writer)
Writer: Pilar Quintana (Writer)
Account Director: Cecilia Davit (JWT Colombia)
Media placement: PRESS RELEASES - EL TIEMPO - 24 JULY
Media placement: PRESS RELEASES - SEMANA - 24 JULY

Summary of the Campaign

The colombian landscape is a challenging one and has forged a strong tradition of Jeeps and SUV’s. To earn its place here, the new Ford Ecosport had to be tested by many different audiences (specialized journalists, leaders of public opinion, dealers, potential buyers...)
This particular SUV needed credibility and to build a reputation. Something that a claim from the brand itself (in whatever form or channel you put it) just won't do. We couldn't just tell the audiences how wonderful it is to travel in a Ford Ecosport: We wanted to take everyone on that journey. But how could we take everyone on that journey?

"A good writer has the ability to take readers to the places and moments he describes..."
Gabriel García Marquez

• We brought on board the three best young writers in the country and their credibility with them.
• They chose three different paths with absolute freedom and with the strength of their prose they took the whole country for a journey in a Ford Ecosport.
• Then came the chronicles that appeared daily in the country’s main newspaper, digital content and the shortstories that were published.
As a result, the Ecosport became an interesting and trusted vehicle
in which many Colombians want to travel again.

The Situation
Ford, while being one of the big names worldwide, is not big in Colombia. They were absent from the country for a long period of time and are now building their reputation in the market. People know the brand and some of their vehicles, especially the big ones.

But this particular SUV, the Ecosport, is a small vehicle without much time spent in the market. It’s without a history of its own.

Colombia has a long tradition of trucks and SUV's and a really challenging geography.

The Goal
- Awareness
- Build a reputation for the Ecosport as a vehicle you can trust on the difficult Colombian roads.
- Sales should double as a result (from 100 units a month to 200).
- Perception was key since this small vehicle doesn't seem to be able to go where the big ones have gone.

Specialized journalist and key opinion formers: most of the car sales in Colombia are influenced by them and their opinions. And the journalist is influenced in similar ways by the car industry. We needed something different for them to see.

Dealerships: The car sales depend on the motivation of the dealers and their interest in every car. While the network of Ford is a loyal one, they are all independent.

Potential buyers: They know Ford, but since the brand was absent from the market for a long time, this is not their first choice (awareness).

Qualitative research showed that the size of the Ecosport affected the image of the vehicle since people down here tend to think about SUV's in terms of size.

The Strategy
- Build reputation and trust.
- Challenge the perception of being small and not able to take Colombian roads.

Execution

1. We brought on board the three best young writers in the country and their credibility with them. They don't do advertising. They are not sponsored by brands. And in a country with a strong tradition of writers, they are trusted.

2. They chose three different paths with absolute freedom (they could write whatever they wanted) and with the strength of their prose they took the whole country for a journey in a Ford Ecosport (for 20 days).

3. First, Andrés Burgos took Colombians from Bogotá to the end of the road in the jungle of Chocó. Then Pilar Quintana travelled from sea level and went high up to the peak of El Nevado del Ruiz, along the 3rd highest road in the world. Antonio García took the road to the northern tip of South América.

4. Their daily chronicles appeared for 20 days in the country's most important newspaper. Their short stories were published in the prestigious Avianca Travel magazine. People could access the digital content and comment on it as well as watch videos of each trip.

The key to this PR effort was to convince these three writers (that the target admire) and then let them do their thing.

In the middle of the last trip an important columnist and writer published a column in the most important newspaper, criticizing the fact that these important and awarded young writers were working with a commercial brand. Some literary blogs had a similar opinion. Some others were on the side of the writers. We had created a debate in the media.

We uploaded a video of Antonio García pretending to be tormented by the critics in a humorous way. The columnist that opened the debate had to close his space for comments since the support of the people went to the writers.

Documented Results
- Purchase consideration increased by 29 points.
- Interest for the product went to 26 points (it was only 12 before the campaign).
- Visits to the dealerships increased by 25%
- Visits to Ford's website duplicated during the campaign.
- Ford Ecosport sales increased by 371%
- The Ecosport became an interesting and trusted vehicle in which many Colombians want to travel again.