During our decade of communications work for Ford Motor Company in the Midwest, our team spent each week finding and telling unique, community-based stories designed to set Ford’s brand apart from competitors in the eyes of consumers. That ongoing effort often led our team to engage various bloggers in major metro areas on topics like special event invites, company announcements, new or innovative technologies, and products to interact with. Two examples of this type of engagement are partnerships with Le Stylo Rouge and Rookie Dad blogs.
Ashley White, author of the popular Le Stylo Rouge fashion blog in Kansas City provided the perfect – and unlikely – partner to tell a Ford story, build brand awareness and favorability, and establish relationships in a niche space not often pitched for that client. In 2014, Ford Motor Company celebrated the 50th anniversary of the iconic Ford Mustang. As part of those efforts, Ford partnered with OPI to launch an official, limited-edition nail lacquer collection, called the “Pony Pack,” featuring Mustang-inspired shades. This “Pedi to the Metal” campaign gave the LS2group team the perfect opportunity to engage in a creative initiative.
LS2group connected with Ashley White and shared the standout hues from the “Pony Pack” for her review. Our team highlighted longstanding, local Mustang Clubs and Ford’s strong presence in Kansas City to garner interest. She wrote a favorable feature on her blog called, “The Vanity: The Pony Pack by OPI,” and shared the content across Facebook, Twitter, BlogLovin.com, and even on the Lucky Community, part of Lucky Magazine’s online presence. This positive coverage showed a different side of Ford Motor Company to several thousand potential customers we may not have been able to reach through traditional or industry media pitching.
In July 2016, LS2group partnered with numerous parenting bloggers to target yet another Ford community and highlight the company’s efforts to stay family friendly. Knowing many babies are born during the summer months, LS2group took advantage of a program developed by Ford engineers to better understand and accommodate the needs and limitations of expectant moms behind the wheel. The team engaged broadcast media and parenting bloggers with Ford’s safe driving guidelines for pregnant mothers along with the opportunity to test out the automaker’s “empathy belly” – a multicomponent, weighted garment designed to enable men and women to experience the effects of pregnancy – while sitting behind the wheel of a Ford vehicle at a local dealership.
The team secured multiple morning show interviews and demonstrations on the ABC and FOX affiliates in Kansas City, bringing significant attention to the national program on the local level. LS2group’s pitching efforts also led to an in-depth piece from Brandon Billinger, author of The Rookie Dad blog. Brandon’s piece, also shared on Facebook and Twitter, featured photos and insights on the experience and ended in a telling paragraph demonstrating the positive impact this kind of story can have on brand favorability and purchase consideration:
“This is one of the things that makes Ford unique. Their engineers wear the empathy belly suit and think about what it is like to be pregnant while they are driving. And even thought we are done having kids (so we say now… ask us again in a few years) knowing that Ford takes the comfort of all passengers into consideration will definitely have me considering a Ford… maybe even a Ford Edge that I was able to experience the belly suit in, when we are looking at a new vehicle.”