Rachel Smith, Director of Media Relations
In this Honey Boo Boo world of fast-paced media and split second attention spans, vying for brand attention can be challenging.
At FSB, we specialize in the ability to think outside the box to bring your product to life in an exciting and unique way. A recent example of this capability is the “Fusion Meets Fusion” event we developed for our client, Ford Motor Company, back in February.
On September 18, Ford launched the North American 2013 Fusion with events throughout the country – and as any good PR professional knows, it’s crucial to maintain positive storytelling in order to have your message resonate with your publics.
Five months after the official launch of the 2013 Fusion, we reintroduced the vehicle on a grassroots level to key influencers in Sacramento – including government officials and media.
The result was a one of a kind event at local restaurant, Mulvaney’s, which we identified as a local business that shares Ford’s commitment to sustainability. This was an important piece of the puzzle, as the goal of this event was not only to generate buzz for the 2013 Fusion, but to highlight Ford’s commitment to maximizing the use of recycled, renewable and recyclable content in its vehicles. Some of the sustainable materials that Ford uses are even edible, like wheat straw and soy beans for reinforced plastics and seat cushions. Accordingly, we blended the idea of Fusion Cuisine along with the 2013 Fusion to create: “Fusion Meets Fusion.”
Sample Key Actions:
• Event Production and Management: Identified date, location, and time. Oversaw specialized menu to include our “edible materials”, created invites, targeted specific attendees, arranged AV equipment, created specialized recycled nametags, coordinated display vehicles
• Message Development: Created Executive talking points specific to target audience, drafted power point presentation, produced event collateral
• Community Relations: Identified and partnered with local restaurant, engaged local community leaders, media, and prominent Ford dealers and marketing leads
• Public Affairs/Influencer Engagement: Identified and engaged appropriate target legislators
• Earned Media: Created pitch and backgrounders, successfully securing over a dozen placements
• Social Media: Created specialized hash tag, engaged prominent social influencers in the area
This event introduced Ford Motor Company and the 2013 Fusion to nearly 40 new top-tier influencers. Attendees included a State Senator and Assembly Member from the Transportation and Housing Committee, a City Council member, and several representatives from statewide and local business associations and government agencies. Additional attendees were local reporters from television, print and online publications.
The event was covered by FOX40 and News10, and featured on several local food and lifestyle blogs. The extra plus here is that the unique nature of the event allowed our client to be featured in outlets that otherwise would never cover an automotive brand. In addition to traditional media outreach, there was a strong social media presence which included numerous tweets and Facebook posts from attendees.
A successful event indeed, but how does this relate to overall brand results? Well…
Sales of the 2013 Fusion are up nearly 18% over a year ago for the first half of 2013. Ford is on pace to sell 300,000 Fusions this year, making it one of Detroit’s most successful new sedans since the original Taurus set styling in midprice cars on its ear during the late 1980s. The success of the Fusion (and C-Max and the redesigned Ford Escape sport utility) have helped lift Ford’s share of retail sales up by nearly 2 percentage points on the west coast.
Check out one of the media hits from our event!
Auto manufacturers adding edible ingredients to design mix
KXTV, Sacramento, CA