Yahoo and Ford Shoot for Celeb Buzz With Video Reality Series

fordfocuselectricYahoo hopes celebrity buzz brings Ford and an upcoming reality series some branding horsepower for the Focus Electric. Ford’s campaign for the new vehicle will be entirely digital, according to Yahoo, which plans to launch the Focus Electric-sponsored “Plugged In” reality competition web show in May.

Ford is using a digital media-centric campaign to target what it hopes will be a growing market for the electric car. “The electric vehicle market will grow over time so we electrified our popular small-car platform with a targeted online campaign instead of creating a one-off vehicle with huge ad budgets,” said Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. marketing communications for Ford, in a press statement.

The series, which will run exclusively on Yahoo’s video destination, Yahoo Screen, will pit a pair of two-person teams in challenges set in 10 cities including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. A celebrity in each locale will kick off each contest, though they have yet to be announced. Contest winners will compete in a final event held in LA to win a Focus Electric. Production firm Magical Elves will produce the Plugged In series.

Yahoo expects to promote the series through its own properties, as well as generate traffic through social media presences of the show’s celebrity partners.

Contenders will actually receive video, text, and audio clues for the competition through the SYNC with MyFord Touch system featured in the Focus Electric, a main component of the show.

Yahoo also hopes to remind people that amid the hype around Pinterest and Instagram, its photo organizing and sharing site, Flickr is still around. The campaign will include Flickr groups dedicated to the show.

Yahoo recently announced renewals of five of its original women-aimed web video shows, including relationship show “Let’s Talk About Love,” and food show “Blue Ribbon Hunter.” Yahoo offers in-stream video and in-display video ads in conjunction with the shows.

Procter & Gamble currently wraps its Olay moisturizer brand around Yahoo’s celebrity style site, “The Thread,” while Bank of America’s Merrill Edge sponsors its Breakout finance site.

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