Today Ford announced their latest advertising initiative, which involves the gaming world. No, you won’t be able to play Angry Birds in your car via Sync, that would likely prove dangerous. What Ford is doing is branding their vehicles in video games, and it’s actually not something new. They have been at this for a while, beginning in 1995 with Sega Rally, but they are now making a more concerted push.
While gamers seem locked into their virtual worlds, they are surprisingly aware of the products that appear in those worlds. And driving games may be one of the genres where the gamer is most aware of the product. After all, the gamer in a car race is keenly aware of the car he or she chooses because it may make the difference between winning and losing.
“We’ve realized that gaming is something that many people have grown up with and helps define who they are,” said Brian Mcclary, with Ford’s Social and Emerging Media team. “Ford has gained positive exposure and popularity because we put our products into the right games while giving something back to the gamer.”
Ford is doubling down their efforts now with the release of Forza Motor Sport 4 (released 10/11/11) and Need for Speed The Run (to be released 11/15/11). They have found that allowing their vehicles to be used in-game gets them more brand recognition and more positive feedback, which translates to more potential customers. Here are the numbers that they provided from their study.
36% increase in brand rating
28% increase in purchase consideration
39% increase in brand recommendation
45% more gamers agreed Ford Focus is fun to drive
It’s good to see Ford continue to “get it” with their innovation to keep them on top in an ever-changing digital world. Their partnership with Microsoft for the Sync system and the forward looking advertising with gaming and even with supporting podcasts is something many other old-world companies should take note of.
If you are a gamer, you can check out Forza Motor Sport 4 in the Xbox Marketplace and NSF The Run at the EA Need for Speed website (you can pre-order now). You can view a trailer of NSF below, but it’s not completely family safe (language).