- Ford Motor Company is working with Disney on what the automaker describes as the first prime-time product reveal leveraging the media company's cable, digital and streaming networks. Ford will introduce its Bronco lineup of SUVs during the first commercial break on ABC, ESPN and National Geographic after 8 p.m. ET on July 13, per an announcement.
- Each network will show a customized three-minute video about the Ford Bronco, and Disney's Hulu streaming service will show all three shorts the following day. The videos mark the first time that Disney CreativeWorks, the entertainment giant's in-house creative agency, has developed custom content for multiple networks.
- Each video has a different model of the Ford Bronco, along with a special guest. Country music singer Kip Moore appears in the video that will air during the "CMA Best of Fest" that airs on ABC, while professional climber Brooke Raboutou is in the version for ESPN's "SportsCenter." Film director and professional climber Jimmy Chin will showcase a Bronco during the "National Parks: Yosemite" airing on National Geographic, and will judge a hashtag challenge on the channel's Instagram account.
Ford's reveal push for the new Bronco lineup across Disney's cable, digital and streaming networks is notable for several reasons, including its potential to create broad reach among a variety of audience segments. The campaign centered on custom video content shows how marketers are trying to better bridge their TV and streaming strategies, a hybrid mindset that has potentially received fresh attention as the novel coronavirus continues to disrupt media plans.
The automaker is seeking to make a big splash with the return of the Bronco, which it stopped selling in 1996 amid declining consumer demand for two-door SUVs in favor of bigger, four-door models, USA Today reported. By saturating Disney's networks with three-minute videos that are tailored to each channel's viewer base, Ford has a higher likelihood of grabbing the attention of consumers.
In that vein, the effort is also notable for featuring customized content that is geared for each Ford model and its target audience among Disney's network brands. For example, the video starring Jimmy Chin, who directed the Oscar-winning documentary "Free Solo," aims to connect with fans of National Geographic's nature documentaries who may be interested in buying an SUV to explore the outdoors.
By running all three videos on streaming platform Hulu, Ford has a chance to engage younger audiences who have either canceled or never signed up for cable and satellite TV services.
Similarly, Ford might also extend the appeal of the campaign with a hashtag challenge on Instagram. Seventy-five percent of U.S. consumers ages 18 to 24 use Instagram, making it the most popular social media app among young adults, per a survey by Pew Research Center. As part of the countdown to next week's reveal, Ford will provide updates at the @FordBronco account on Instagram, per its announcement.
The saturation campaign is another sign of how the pandemic has disrupted the marketing efforts of major brands, including in the automotive category. Ford had planned to reveal the all-new Bronco lineup last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but organizers canceled the event because of the health crisis. Ford's team revamped the reveal strategy to reach a bigger audience, according to the news release. By collaborating with Disney, the carmaker can market to the millions of consumers who have tended to consume more video while stuck at home during the pandemic.
During the early days of the pandemic, Ford launched a campaign to showcase its efforts to provide better access to financing to consumers facing hardships. The company is among the brands that have had to revamp their experiential marketing programs amid the cancelations of live events.