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Ford Taps Zynga for 'Words With Friends' Promo

  |  November 15, 2011   |  Comments

Promotes 2013 Escape with a social gaming live event, starring Jenny McCarthy.

mccarthy-ford-zyngaFord has teamed up with social game developer Zynga to host what it has dubbed the world's largest "Words With Friends" game to promote its 2013 Escape model.

Words With Friends is a Scrabble-like social game in which players compete against each other by creating words. It is available on Facebook, as well as iPhone and Android devices.

On Tuesday, Nov 15 (that's today), from 11pm to midnight EST, fans in the U.S. can collectively play Words With Friends against celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who will be at an event in Los Angeles. While they do, a full reveal photo of the new 2013 Ford Escape will be exposed on giant screens. The new Escape will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show tomorrow.

Crystal Worthem, manager of brand content and alliances for Ford, said players can submit word suggestions through a live-stream chat. The game will also be live-streamed at Facebook.com/fordescape and livestream.com/ford so fans at home can play along, too.

"We're calling it 'Jenny McCarthy versus the world,'" Worthem said.

Ford selected McCarthy - an actress, model, and former Playboy Playmate of the Year - because, "Number one, we wanted someone who plays the game and can be really fun," she adds.

"By revealing the new Escape through a popular social game like Words With Friends, Ford is able to expand its reach beyond traditional social channels to mobile platforms that engage a broader audience," said Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. marketing communications for Ford, in a statement.

That broader audience includes young professionals, which Worthem says is the target for this particular initiative.

Ford selected Words With Friends in particular because of its 20 million players and their passion. To drum up interest in the promotion, Worthem says Ford has done a lot of promotion within the game itself, as well as with invites on Facebook.

The Words With Friends event will be the first in a series of social gaming initiatives to be launched as part of Escape Routes, an upcoming online interactive reality series that will feature six teams of two that will travel across the country and compete in virtual and real-life challenges.

According to Worthem, Ford will begin casting for Escape Routes around the same time the vehicle is revealed on Tuesday. Escape Routes will premiere on a variety of digital platforms in Spring 2012.

Other Zynga games include CityVille, FarmVille, FrontierVille, Mafia Wars 1 and 2, and Treasure Isle.


Lisa Lacy

In addition to ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, Lisa's work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.

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