Ford India brings real life experience on F1 track

By Anushree Bhattacharyya , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | March 05, 2012
The communication strategy, which revolves around the idea of 'Real people, real experiences', saw Ford India bringing the Fiesta experience on the Buddh International Circuit.

To promote the newly introduced automatic version of the Fiesta, Ford India has launched a communication strategy that captures 'real life' experiences. On March 3, the company carried out an initiative, called Fiesta Hot Wheels, at the Buddh International Circuit (also known as F1 track) in the National Capital Region.

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Based on the fundamental idea of 'Real experiences', the initiative provided first-hand experience of driving the Ford Fiesta Automatic and featured people who make an impact on society, including influential businessmen, photographers, bloggers, writers and fashion designers.

Speaking to afaqs! about the strategy, Nigel E Wark, executive director, sales and marketing, Ford India, says, "We realised that people in India prefer to drive a manual car rather than an automatic one, as they have a certain kind of understanding about an automatic vehicle. To prove that these beliefs are just myths, we decided to bring people and give them a first-hand experience at the F1 track, one of the best tracks to drive a car in the country."

The campaign, conceptualised by Global Team Ford and Blogworks, was driven through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Till about 11 am on Saturday, March 3, the activity received approximately 1,600 tweets.

With Ford India, what started as one small step seems to have grown into a complete communication strategy. Last year in August, the company had launched an initiative, 'The Fiesta Experience'. After this soon another initiative, 'Discover Smart Drive' was introduced to promote the then newly launched hatchback, Figo. The campaign featured four real life participants who drove from Chandigarh to Chennai and shared their driving experiences. Next another similar activity called 'Swap my car' was launched by the company in Delhi, Mumbai and Chandigarh. In this case too, consumers who drove Figo were given the option to swap their old or new car with Figo.

Both the activities were later turned into television commercials.

According to Wark, research by the company has proved that people have a tendency to trust word-of-mouth, suggestions made by friends, colleagues, next door neighbours and relatives, rather than believing in a cine star promoting a product. The cine star factor appears more superficial than real. "Therefore, all our communication is being designed keeping in focus the main idea, 'Real life, real experience', as this provides authenticity to the communication."

The company will celebrate the second birthday of the Figo on March 9 and plans to roll out yet another activity, once again based on the core concept of providing real life experiences.

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