Cannes Lions

El carro Ford

VML, Bogota / FORD / 2024

Awards:

2 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

Vallenato, a music genre native to Colombia, shaped the country's culture for over 150 years by combining the sounds of guacharacas, drums, and accordions, holding a special place in Colombians hearts. And Rafael Escalona, one of the greatest vallenato legends and an iconic staple to the country’s culture, sadly passed away in 2009, marking the beginning of vallenato's decline after years of molding Colombia's cultural landscape.

And due to this, in 2015, UNESCO declared Vallenato as an Intangible World Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding looking to keep this music genre alive. This became an opportunity for Ford, an American brand that had become distant to Colombians in the past few years, to reconnect with the country through one of their most cherished treasures: their music.

Idea

Inside Rafael Escalona’s belongings we found a songbook filled with songs that had never been recorded before. And one of those songs that the world had never seen, was a song he wrote about the car of his dreams: a Ford car.

That’s how El Carro Ford was born, a hidden treasure in Escalona’s compositions that helped Ford reconnect with Colombians through its most iconic music genre. We then decided to record this song for the very first-time featuring Carlos Vives, the 16-time Grammy Winner and one of the most important Colombian artists in the world, to make Ford reconnect with the country and make Colombians feel closer to the brand.

Strategy

We turned to Colombia’s culture to reconnect with its people, digging deep inside its roots and using vallenato in a way that had never been done before. Giving life to a legendary composition lost in time made by one of vallenato’s most iconic artists to make people feel connected to the brand once again. We targeted local radio personalities, Ford fans, and involved all of our brand ambassadors to make this message reach a bigger audience and travel throughout the whole country.

Execution

After we found Escalona’s songbook, we needed to record this with an artist that could help us bring our message closer to Colombians, so we decided to record this song featuring Carlos Vives, one of the most important Colombian artists in the world and an ambassador of its most representative music genre: vallenato.

The song took a life of its own, becoming a viral TikTok trend, that later evolved into an album, became a series of sold-out shows, and ended up as a Latin Grammy winner.

All while becoming the most successful call to action in Ford’s history in Colombia.

Outcome

97% positive brand sentiment. We found a way to show that we had always been part of the culture of Colombia through one of the most relevant icons in the history of music.

4.5% Sales increase in 2023, the largest in the top 10 leading car brands in the country

160M+ impressions

1 Latin Grammy for Best Cumbia/ Vallenato album of the year in the 2023 awards

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