Ford lets Facebook fans customise Mustang

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Ford and its agency, Team Detroit, launched the Customizer in 2011 and generated more than a million personalized vehicles. A year later, they moved beyond the microsite and into the full capabilities of the Facebook platform. This campaign is a prime example of a brand leveraging Facebook to its fullest potential.

Mustang Customizer 2013 from Michigan Motion Buds on Vimeo.


Case study summary

• Ford used social media game to promote new Mustang series
• Battle mode added competitive and addictive element to the campaign
• Campaign generated 16,901,484 impressions within Facebook

The challenge

Ford wanted to promote the latest Mustang Model to a new generation and stand out from the crowd. It turned to agencies Team Detroit and Firstborn to create an innovative social media campaign that took fan engagement to a new immersive level for the brand.

Solution

The Customizer app allows people to choose a base model and configure its colors, body style, decals, and other features. The vehicle is named and saved, exported as a jpg, stored in a Garage. For 2012, it exists on a website, in a Facebook tab, as a mobile app, and on Xbox 360.

The Customizer also features Battle Mode, the ability to enter your vehicles into an arena where it is judged by the public against others. The Customizer keeps track of wins and even specific rivalries or wagers. Earned badges incentivizing sharing, and winners are placed on a leader board.

For 2012, the Customizer took greater advantage of the Facebook platform, allowing people to log in via Facebook Connect and trigger custom actions around their customizations, battles, rivalries and badges. We also leveraged the customizer as a source of content for Mustang’s more than four million Facebook fans, publishing Page posts on fan-submitted content and changing our profile and cover photos to include customized vehicles.

Results

At the end of 2012, 1.7 million Mustangs had been customized. And counting.

“Ford…made their entire marketing strategy about people,” Facebook’s global automotive marketing head Doug Frisbee Frisbee says. “Their work on the Mustang Customizer actual fed into their TV spot. This is a great example of how a social idea can drive an entire marketing strategy.”

To evaluate the performance of the 2012 Customizer campaign, we tracked several metrics, some specific to its performance within Facebook, some dealing with the Customizer itself, some dealing with attitudinal beliefs toward the vehicle, and some dealing specifically with business goals. Together, these add up to a holistic view of the campaign with Facebook as a cornerstone of the evaluation, not an add-on.
Results

In Facebook, Mustang content performed very well. Unsponsored Customizer-related posts had an average post performance of 2.4%. 434,449 people participated via Facebook connect, triggering 2,350,505 custom actions and earning 16,901,484 impressions within Facebook.

The mobile app was downloaded 600,000 times. 6,687,748 users have visited the Customizer in 2012, 40% of them completing a customization.

Purchase consideration of the Mustang also increased 7% points as a result of interaction with the Customizer.

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