Ford partners with YouTube to make films that identify with car shoppers to drive brand consideration

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Ford of Europe wanted to find new ways to connect with potential customers by showing that the brand understood the consumer’s mindset and challenges offered a different buying experience. Ford partnered with Google, YouTube and its global media agency, Global Team Blue) to identify the concerns of consumers based on searches. The brand held a ‘createathon’ in five European markets which produced five unique films.

Case study summary

• Taking a data driven approach, Ford partnered with YouTube and its media agency to gain key learnings about consumer ‘pain points’ related to car buying from search data

• Using those concerns as a springboard, each of five European markets was briefed and a ‘createathon’ was held to make quick films that could be run as ads

• Each film had the same central theme, but was unique in its story line

• The films were run as ads on YouTube and measured using Brand Lift surveys, showing a substantial increase in ad recall and brand consideration

The challenge

Ford of Europe wanted to find new ways to connect with future car buyers online, with a focus on consumer “pain points” when buying a new car. Ford believed that if the brand could show ads that showed empathy for consumer’s experience, it would positively influence consumer opinion of the brand and lead to more purchases.

The solution

Ford partnered with Google, YouTube and its global media agency (Global Team Blue) to uncover what car purchasers thought about the experience of buying a new car, based on search data. One of the main experiences they identified was a lack of confidence in visiting the dealership.

Global Team Blue and YouTube briefed creative teams in the five biggest markets in Europe (UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain) for a ‘createathon’ for a YouTube campaign: “You can’t skip this dealership in five seconds.” The teams had 48 hours and a 10K budget to create a film that would be promoted through YouTube’s TrueView skippable ad format with the objective of driving visits to Ford dealerships. The idea was to create the films quickly, get them live and test and learn via Brand Lift surveys.

Regardless of similar challenges in each market related to dealer perceptions, the films were each very different in their creative direction, for example, the French team’s film focused on a many trying out some top suggestions for negotiating the best deal on a car, while the Italian team’s film showed a “human car configurator” which leveraged the TrueView format by making it interactive, such as speeding up the video and responding to user input from offscreen.

The videos were run in the five different countries as ads.

The results

The impact of each of the five videos was measured using Brand Lift surveys, which measures the effectiveness of a brand’s advertising on metrics that are more closely related to traditional marketing goals, such as ad recall and brand consideration.

Each of the five films had best in class (top 25% of peer set) improvement in ad recall. Three of the five films also led to strong increases in brand consideration (best in class as well).

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