Cannes Lions

Ford Mustang Mach-E Drive Stream

BBDO , Toronto / FORD / 2021

Awards:

1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

While Ford’s stable of vehicles is incredibly progressive, brand perceptions and favourable opinion has lagged with millennials who perceive it as an outdated heritage brand versus an innovative brand for the future. As a result, Ford is not attracting its fair share of millennials to fuel future success in the highly competitive automotive category. Enter the Mustang Mach-E: Ford’s first electric SUV that is anything but traditional or conservative.

We were tasked with showcasing the innovative Mustang Mach-E and its electrifying performance as a means to elevate millennials’ perception of the Ford brand.

But telling millennials that the Mustang Mach-E existed simply wasn’t enough, they needed to experience the progressive vehicle for themselves in order to truly get what Ford is all about.

Idea

Our big idea was to tap into the world of livestreaming to enable millennials to experience Ford’s most innovative electric vehicle. Though Ford had no prior Twitch presence, we knew Twitch would be the perfect channel for our live experience. Tech-savvy millennials were spending hours on the livestreaming platform synonymous with gaming, and the innovative Mustang Mach-E was the perfect vehicle to showcase on the innovative platform.

Introducing the Mustang Mach-E Drive Stream: Live on Twitch.

For one night only, we invited the internet to take a reinvented Twitch test drive with us, allowing users to help control a real Mustang Mach-E driven by a professional driver on our custom built interactive 100,000 square foot racetrack. True to Twitch and Mustang culture, we gamified our test drive by incorporating racing game elements into our livestream such as laps, high scores and of course, turbo boosts.

Strategy

Today’s millennials are increasingly embracing the innovative and engaging online experience that livestreaming provides. Not only is it a great source of entertainment – cue zoos livestreaming their animals to musicians busking from their bedrooms – it is the de facto place on the internet for the gaming community to hangout. With 2 in 3 millennials regularly playing videogames, spending nearly 6 hours each week watching gaming video content on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, and the industry itself now surpassing the size of the sporting and film industry combined, livestream gaming environments provide an incredible opportunity to engage with a millennial audience in innovative and breakthrough ways.

If we could engage our tech-savvy millennial target with Ford using the medium that was most engaging to them, we knew we could also move the needle on how they perceive Ford.

Execution

Pre-event, we released a teaser trailer to generate hype, which was spread by 9 partner Twitch influencers who simultaneously announced their participation in co-streaming the event on their own Twitch channels. Partnering with these popular Twitch influencers gave Ford instant credibility on the platform they’ve had no previous history on, and extended the global reach of our campaign by tapping into their devoted audiences.

The night of our Twitch broadcast, viewers were treated to a live visual spectacle as a real Mustang Mach-E zipped through an interactive track.

Part of what makes Twitch as a medium so compelling is the native chat functionality which allows for unparalleled engagement between viewer and creator. We used this feature to allow test drivers to tell us in real-time how they wanted to see a real Mustang Mach-E driven by a professional driver to navigate our custom built interactive 100,000 square foot race track.

At certain points during the livestream, viewers would be served with prompts that presented them with commands they could enter by typing W (straight), A (left), X (turbo boost), D (right) as comments in the chat field. The command the majority of users voted upon as tallied by our custom chat bot, would then be relayed to our stunt driver who would then execute said action live.

Post-event, a making-of video of this interactive stunt featuring gameplay and influencer footage was compiled into a long form video promoted on YouTube to extend the campaign reach.

Outcome

This first of its kind Twitch test drive received overwhelming positive sentiment with our tech-savvy millennial target. The campaign generated significant social engagement during the stream with 87,000 virtual test drives delivered in 25 minutes with the average gameplay per user clocking in at 9 minutes, 17 seconds. 19,000 game commands were entered, peaking at 44 commands per second; proof that users were invested in our brand experience. This contributed to a best-in-class 8% lift in brand favourability, helping millennials see Ford in a new light as the automotive innovator they truly are.

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