- Ford Motor Company plans to run an eight-part podcast about the history of its Bronco sport-utility vehicle, which the automaker is bringing back after a 24-year hiatus. "Bring Back Bronco" will appear on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Ford's website, among other platforms, on Aug. 10, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Former NPR transportation and economics reporter Sonari Glinton will host the podcast, which tells the history of the Bronco from its 1966 introduction until it was canceled in 1996. The podcast will cover the most notorious incident in the SUV's history, the 1994 police chase of former NFL star running back O.J. Simpson in a white Bronco through the streets of Los Angeles.
- Ford also will post bonus content about the Bronco to its website, including historic photos, documents, oral histories from Ford employees and fans of the SUV, along with early sketches of the original Bronco and latest 2021 model. The automaker worked with podcast agency Pacific Content and ad agency Global Team Blue on the series, including a sneak peek on YouTube, per its announcement.
Ford's "Bring Back Bronco" podcast aims to build on the excitement for the Bronco's return while explaining its cultural significance to younger consumers who may have no memory of the SUV. By creating a podcast, Ford can tell a more complete brand story with an on-demand audio experience that engages listeners on mobile devices and smart speakers. The series comes as the carmaker releases one the most-anticipated vehicles in years. The growing waitlist for the 2021 Bronco may mean some customers won't take delivery of their new SUV for another 18 months, Car and Driver reported.
Ford could enhance its outreach to a target audience of younger car buyers with its podcast as opposed to through traditional media channels. Almost half (48%) of U.S. consumers ages 12 to 34 say they listen to podcasts at least once a month, compared with 37% of the general population, per a study by Edison Research and Triton. The study also found that the average amount of time that people spend listening to podcasts expanded to 6 hours and 39 minutes a week this year from 6 hours and 29 minutes in 2019, while the average listener streams about six podcasts a week.
Ford's podcast follows other promotional efforts to saturate media channels with advertising for the Bronco. Earlier this month, Ford worked with Disney on what the automaker described as the first prime-time product reveal across the media company's cable, digital and streaming networks. The automaker introduced its Bronco lineup on ABC, ESPN and National Geographic in three-minute videos that were customized for each network, and ran all of the videos on streaming network Hulu.
Ford is the latest brand to create a podcast that seeks to engage listeners with a lengthier brand story. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in February began streaming a podcast series that urged travelers to be more adventurous with the extra time afforded by Leap Year. The "Take the Leap" podcast consisted of three episodes, each hosted by influencers from differing backgrounds. The following month, luxury car brand Lexus released a six-part podcast hosted by author Malcolm Gladwell titled "Go and See." The podcast followed Gladwell as he visited Lexus' headquarters in Japan and learned more about how the company designs and tests new vehicles. Most recently, Kraft Heinz launched its first podcast, delving into various aspects of the packaged foods giant's brands around the globe.