Brand Experience and Activation > Brand Experience & Activation: Sectors

THE MIAMI EXPERIENCE

CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, New York / FORD / 2019

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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

While competitors create buzz with self-driving prototypes, Ford believes autonomous vehicles will be about much more than the cars. They see AVs transforming our world, as well as transforming Ford’s business. In the MIAMI EXPERIENCE, we helped Ford show how AVs come to life in the real world, seamlessly and pragmatically, in all-day activations that put Ford’s driverless vehicles on the streets of Miami. Participants traveled across the city, getting a preview of how cities like Miami, and retailers like Walmart and Dominos, will be working with Ford to develop new services and business opportunities to drive the AV future

Background

While other companies roll out driverless car prototypes, Ford has been working on the bigger picture: how will AVs change the world. Ford envisions a whole driverless ecosystem that brings together tech companies, municipalities, businesses and citizens. In Miami, we demonstrated how AVs looked and felt in a real-world situation, in partnership with Miami’s urban planners, city services and businesses. The goal: illustrate Ford’s vision for AVs that made sense for business and for city life. The MIAMI EXPERIENCE was designed to persuade the toughest audiences-- journalists and investors-- that Ford has the smartest plan for the driverless future: human-centric, community-based and viable as a long-term business strategy.

Describe the creative idea

Ford needed to go beyond press releases to persuade press and investors that it must be included in any discussion about the self-driving future. We invited several dozen of the most influential to Miami, where we created a vivid, believable first-person experience that brought Ford’s full AV vision to life, along with providing direct access to Ford’s leadership and tech experts. This immersive ‘day in the life’ experience took place on Miami’s actual busy streets during the workweek, requiring the participation of city officials, county services, Miami residents and local businesses. We wanted to bring attendees through a multi-phased journey that painted a full picture of the self-driving world Ford is creating in partnership with cities like Miami, fully engaged in creating driverless cars, AV ride-hailing services and a range of digital support-- that will transform city life and business in the not-too-distant future.

Describe the strategy

We created the MIAMI EXPERIENCE to provide a vivid, real-world introduction to Ford’s vision, Ford’s differentiation from competitors, while educating attendees about the possibilities of AVs as Ford sees it. We wanted to address some of the tough questions being asked about the driverless business, including those about safety, trustworthiness and profitability. We wanted, above all, to position Ford as having a unique, and well-thought-out vision for its AV business, so we needed the experience to reflect Ford expertise as well as its commitment to building a safe, trustworthy and profitable AV business. We kept the attendee list focused on a small group of media and investment influentials, taking them in intimate groups each of the three days, to allow for in-depth questions, meaningful discussions and vivid experiences. By the end, we wanted the journalists and investment analysts to be talking about Ford as an emerging AV leader.

Describe the execution

Ford’s MIAMI EXPERIENCE simulated an AV-powered ‘day in the life” of a Miami resident, giving attendees first-person access to Ford’s AV plans and experts. This immersive journey allowed journalists and investors to travel across the city, in driverless Ford Fusions, stopping at transit hubs, Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and its Frost Science Museum. Guests met with Ford’s AV leaders, including the founders of its Argo AI division. Attendees saw, first-hand, how Ford’s ride-hailing and food delivery apps would work in an AV-powered transportation system. The centerpiece: extended Ford AV rides on the busy streets of Miami (THE VERGE said, “The ride was a marvel!”) showcasing how city life will be enhanced by Ford’s safe, trustworthy AV tech. It built trust in Ford’s AV prospects and anticipation for its vision of a not-too-distant future propelled by robotic vehicles. One media outlet dubbed it “Ford’s mini-Westworld, created in downtown Miami”.

List the results

Ford’s MIAMI EXPERIENCE significantly shifted perceptions of Ford’s AV prospects. The influential CONSUMER EDGE RESEARCH reported that they now “believe Ford is among the LEADING companies...winning the race” on AV. Across the board, analyst reports and media coverage noted that Ford’s AV plan was thoughtful and comprehensive, especially versus industry hyperbole. Media coverage from over 140 outlets, including CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fast Company and the Financial Times, cited Ford’s inventive and pragmatic real-world approach to its AV business, especially the impact on local economies and city life. In addition, over 58.5M+ social media impressions indicated a high level of enthusiasm for technology -- in rides and services-- that Ford brought to the Miami streets.

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