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Ford Fiesta sees 8.76pc CTR with CAPTCHA alternative campaign

Ford Fiesta ran a digital and mobile campaign leveraging a CAPTCHA alternative to target consumers ages 18-34, and since it started running in August, the campaign has seen 133 hours of brand interaction and a 84 percent completion rate.

The campaign was powered by Are You a Human, which creates interactive games that replace the CAPTCHA verification with a game-based ad unit. In addition to seeing a 8.2 percent click-through rate, Ford Fiesta saw an average interaction time of 8.2 seconds with the ad.

?Ford was looking for unique was to get a deeper engagement with users, and in particular to connect with them in a positive way,? said Reid Tatoris, cofounder of Are You a Human, Detroit. ?Since Playthru makes an awful experience better, users are happy to engage and actually thankful to the brand. That's why we see a 30 percent boost in brand favorability when users interact with PlayThru.

?We engage with users at a time when no one else is talking to them, and they are completely focused on one task,? he said. ?When we ad Ford into the mix, users remember the brand because they are so focused and engaged.?

The CAPTCHA alternative is called PlayThru and asks consumers to complete an action to verify that they are a human and not a robot.

CAPTCHA is the traditional way that sites verify that a visitor is in fact a human. It presents a series of distorted characters that visitors are then asked to type into a box.

PlayThru replaces this verification system with an ad unit that asks consumers to complete an action, such as registering for a site, commenting on a post or article or sharing links or photos, to verify they are human.

One Ford Fiesta PlayThru asked consumers to pack a 2014 Fiesta for a music festival, and they had to drag a microphone and guitar into the trunk of the car. After completing the action, consumers could click to follow the Fiesta Movement, and the would be directed to the campaign?s microsite.

Another ad asked consumers to drag a Fiesta to Chicago by pushing the image of the car across a map.

The ads ran across 3,200 of Are You a Human's sites and will continue to run until the end of 2013.

Mobile engagement
The PlayThru ad can be especially attractive for mobile marketers and consumers.

On mobile, traditional display and banner ads annoy and disrupt the consumer. The ads take over the tiny screen of smartphones and do not offer a positive experience.

Consumers are not clicking on them, and they do not like to see them.

The PlayThru ad offers an alternative that engages a consumer and replaces a traditional verification system that was less exciting than the advertising. If a consumer has to complete a verification system, he or she will probably rather complete a fun and interactive action than type in random words into a box.

?Users have learned to tune out traditional advertising, and to get their attention, brands have had to become more and more intrusive,? Mr. Tatoris said. ?We turn that model on its head.

?Playthru takes an experience people hate, and makes it exponentially better, then allows a brand to sponsor that improvement,? he said. ?We give users something of value in exchange for their time with the brand.

?When you look at mobile ads in particular, they're even worse. People are already used to playing quick games on their phones, and our simple swipe interactions fit seamlessly into that experience.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York