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Ford goes digital with launch of 2013 Fusion

In an interesting Q & A with Ad Age, Ford’s VP-Global Marketing Jim Farley details the specifics behind the company’s strategy for the launch of the 2013 Ford Fusion, a mid-size sedan set to compete with the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and more.

What is interesting about the Q & A is not only Ford’s pre-launch strategy, which Mr. Farley says is a financial commitment the company “wouldn’t have made” even two years ago, but the focus on digital as an integral part of the pre-launch strategy.

The company recently launched it’s “Random Acts of Fusion,” highlighting Ryan Seacrest, Joel McHale and others. The set up is to submit a photo with that days challenge, which for Day 1 (Sept. 18) was to submit a photo of the number 47 spelled out in beans!

So far, the effort has garnered over 200,000 Facebook likes and over 11 million online interactions, according to Mr. Farley.

What’s interesting is that Mr. Farley admits that Ford isn’t quite sure what a Like is worth. Also interesting is the discussion about demographics:

Ad Age: One of the challenges is that you’re using a digital campaign to target a very broad demographic and one that’s generally older. How do you approach something like Random Acts of Fusion when the target is potentially less interested in creating and widely sharing content?

Mr. Farley: The days are over that digital media is dominated and consumed by younger males. Far over. The fastest growing group on Facebook is women in their 50s. You can’t stereotype that a digital investment isn’t broad. It depends on the content you produce.

Farley is right when he states that the days of younger males dominating digital media are over. And one might question if that was ever the case, particularly regarding Facebook. But one also might wonder who exactly is going to buy the vehicle. Is it “women in their 50’s?” Men in their 50’s? Or will younger adults, those a bit more likely to shape beans into the number 47, be the ultimate buyer?

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