Ford's digital run for the 2012 Mustang has centered on a "Mustang Customizer" social app. The initiative lasts until at least the end of the year, combining interactive features on Ford.com with Facebook and Twitter.
Brian McClary, a director of social and emerging media for the automotive giant, said Ford will purchase Sponsored Stories ads on Facebook and Promoted Tweets via Twitter in what amounts to a second phase for the campaign. Mustang Customizer is drawn together by an app that allows users to create countless versions of the newest make of the classic car while sharing their creations with friends.
"We are very excited about the numbers we've seen so far," McClary told ClickZ News on Wednesday. "We put a goal of 2 million customized Mustangs out there. I am pretty confident we're going to beat that goal. We've seen an increased amount of site traffic to the Mustang homepage. We've seen an increase in leads. We've seen an increase in engagement rates when we post about it on our Facebook page. We've seen increases across the board."
In addition to the Facebook and Twitter ad purchases, his marketing team is backing the effort with a layered digital media plan. This week, they've run homepage takeover ads on Yahoo.com and popular gaming site IGN.com. Ford has struck a partnership with in-flight web access provider Gogo, which is offering free Facebook access at 10,000-plus feet for those who create a customized Mustang via the aforementioned app. Gogo sent a dedicated email to its list on Wednesday, promoting the effort. Ads will also appear in digital out-of-home signage.
Using the Customizer app, Ford.com visitors can piece together numerous Mustang variations, while toying with different looks for wheels, exterior and interior color, electronics features, license plates, and so on. Whether on the carmaker's site or on Facebook, consumers can share a challenge - or enter "battle mode" as the app defines it - to test their mettle against friends.
On a mobile level, Mustang Customizer players can take their car-building gamesmanship on the road via an iPhone/Android app. "You can do all your crazy customizations and go into battle mode," McClary explained. "You can use it in the taxi or on the subway or while waiting for a meeting to start."
The Detroit company also utilized an app-based concept to push the 2011 Mustang, the social and emerging media director said, calling it one of the "more successful campaigns we've done for Mustang."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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