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Ford Generates Buzz for Electric Vehicles With Consistent Message, Custom Activations

The tour event in Cape May, N.J., was part of Race at the Cape, a historical recreation of famous beach races between Henry Ford and Louis Chevrolet. Ford’s fuel-efficient vehicles were on display next to antique cars to highlight how automotive technology has advanced since the original races in the early 1900s.
Photo: Courtesy of Ford Motor Company

By Mitra Sorrells | Posted May 30, 2012, 3:03 PM EDT
ORLANDO From social media scavenger hunts to presentations at hotels, state capitols, and museums, Ford Motor Company is hosting 19 events around the country as part of its “Go Further” tour to create excitement and interest in its electric and hybrid vehicles. With nationwide coordination from Ogilvy Public Relations and local execution from regional PR firms, Ford is targeting markets where these types of vehicles are already selling well and creating events that provide information and test-drive opportunities.

“We have chosen to do some experiential things to go into these communities,” said Chad D’Arcy, Ford Focus Electric marketing manager, “to engage influencers and media and really target folks who are advocates and can get the news out about what Ford is offering, instead of using traditional print and TV, which is more of a pull then a push.”

Each event is based on the same message—that Ford’s lineup of electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid vehicles gives consumers the “Power of Choice”—but the settings and activities have been tailored to each market.

In Orlando, Ford held its event Thursday at the Peabody Orlando hotel, a property that has embraced a variety of sustainability initiatives including the recent installation of ChargePoint electric vehicle chargers in its parking garage. Two dozen community leaders and members of the media listened to a presentation by D’Arcy, followed by remarks from the Peabody’s director of engineering and the county’s environmental specialist. Attendees then headed to the hotel’s garage to test-drive the vehicles.
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