PR > PR: Sectors

THE MIAMI EXPERIENCE

CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, New York / FORD / 2019

CampaignCampaignLayout(opens in a new tab)
Case Film
Presentation Image
1 of 0 items

Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Our MIAMI EXPERIENCE was designed to persuade press that Ford’s approach to autonomous vehicles was distinctive and visionary. Ford had been sidelined in AV conversations, while other companies got the spotlight by testing one-off AV prototypes. Instead, Ford’s approach emphasized realistic business models and city-wide partnerships, with a range of safe and trustworthy AV products and services. This multi-layered story required more than press releases, we needed to take journalists inside a real-world AV simulation. We built an experience that did that, giving unprecedented access to Ford’s team and partners, while dazzling them with a glimpse of the AV future.

Background

While other car and tech companies have been creating buzz with a parade of driverless car prototypes, Ford has been working on a more ambitious, longer-term AV vision: a full transportation ecosystem that engages tech companies, municipalities, businesses and citizens in the driverless future. To break through the noise and drive attention to Ford’s vision, we needed an approach that would allow the company to demonstrate how it looked and felt in a real-world situation. We needed to build something that would allow Ford to demonstrate how it would partner with urban planners, city services and businesses alike to make AV solutions that would grow the economies, improve urban life and still drive profitability for Ford. The MIAMI EXPERIENCE was designed to persuade the toughest audiences-- journalists and investors-- that Ford had the smartest plan for the driverless future: human-centric, community-based and viable as a long-term business strategy.

Describe the creative idea

Since automakers were already shouting with AV press releases, we knew that Ford would need to go beyond words and claims in getting the attention of influential journalists and investors. We decided to create a vivid, credible first-person experience that would bring Ford’s vision to life while allowing our VIP attendees to speak directly with Ford’s leadership and tech experts. Our idea was to build a ‘day in the life’ experience on Miami’s actual busy streets during the workweek, an ambitious project that would require city and county officials to participate as well as local residents and businesses. We wanted to bring attendees through a multi-phased journey that engaged all forms of driverless transport -- from Miami’s mass transit to Ford’s ride-hailing GoRide-- as well as in-depth presentations and dialogue with Ford’s experts as well as local experts.

Describe the PR strategy

Ford needed to challenge industry skepticism about its commitment to autonomous vehicles. The industry has been consistently underwhelmed by Ford’s AV announcements and perceived commitment. The only way to shift these perceptions: offer press a full immersion in Ford’s AV vision, with access to Ford’s team and partners alongside a vivid demonstration of how Ford see AVs working on actual city streets. We built Ford’s MIAMI EXPERIENCE to provide that first-hand, front-row exposure to how Ford, along with its Argo AI division, will partner with cities, businesses and neighborhoods to build an AV ecosystem. Ford played out its vision on the vibrant streets of Miami, demonstrating how consumer-centric safety and trust will drive the profitability and embrace of its AV plan. As one participant said, “Ford proved it was not only ‘in the game’, they might be LEADING it.”

Describe the PR execution

We built Ford’s MIAMI EXPERIENCE to simulate a ‘day in the life” of Miami’s AV future, while giving press and investor attendees in-depth access to Ford’s AV plans and experts. We created an immersive activation that allowed guests to enjoy day long journeys across the city, in driverless Ford Fusions, with stops at transit hubs, the Wynwood neighborhood and its Frost Science Museum. At each stop, attendees met with Ford’s AV leaders, including the founders of its Argo AI division. The activation persuasively brought Ford’s vision to life, showcasing Ford innovations in city engagement, fleet management, digital services and partner pilot programs. While it was designed to build trust and excitement in Ford’s AV vision, it dazzled with its vision of a not-too-distant future propelled by robotic vehicles and seamless ways to navigate the cityscape. One media outlet dubbed it “Ford’s mini-Westworld, created in downtown Miami”.

List the results

Ford’s MIAMI EXPERIENCE had a significant impact on how Ford is perceived in the AV world. As THE VERGE said, the event left attendees convinced that “Ford is approaching (the AV) challenge cautiously and deliberately”. In over 140 pieces of media coverage from outlets including CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, Fast Company and the Financial Times, Ford was praised for being inventive and pragmatic in its real-world, transparent look at AVs, considering trust and safety issues along with profitability for Ford and the local economy. Over 58.5M social media impressions were generated by attendees and residents who wanted to share pictures, information and enthusiasm. One of the key results, though, was what Ford and its private and public partners learned about how to tackle, together, the challenges of the AV future: this is creating a blueprint for Ford AV programs all over the world.

More Entries from Automotive in PR

24 items

Grand Prix Cannes Lions
THE TAMPON BOOK: A BOOK AGAINST TAX DISCRIMINATION

Other FMCG

THE TAMPON BOOK: A BOOK AGAINST TAX DISCRIMINATION

THE FEMALE COMPANY, SCHOLZ & FRIENDS

(opens in a new tab)

More Entries from CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

24 items

Silver Cannes Lions
THE PACIFIC NATIONAL HONOR FLIGHT

Best Use of Live Events and or Celebrity endorsement

THE PACIFIC NATIONAL HONOR FLIGHT

HBO, CIVIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

(opens in a new tab)