Ford Produces Primetime Reality Show – Car Pro News

Long gone are the days when a year-end sales events was all it took to win the hearts and wallets of American car consumers. A stubborn recession, stiff competition and an audience that is inundated with advertising in almost all aspects of their lives is forcing many automakers to take more creative steps to sell their products.
Ford is one of them, and will launch the first ever fully-branded primetime reality show on the NBC network. It debuts this Saturday March 31.
“Escape Routes” is “The Amazing Race” meets “Road Rules,” with six teams of two competing in a series of road trip challenges in none other than the 2013 Ford Escape, which goes on sale this spring. The winners of the competition will receive $100,000 and two new Ford Escapes.
“Ford is the first automaker to build an entire prime-time show around a new vehicle,” says Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “This is another example of the innovative ways Ford is reaching consumers.”
In 2009, with the launch of the Ford Fiesta, the automaker began diverting marketing dollars to pre-launching its vehicles by creating social buzz online. With the Fiesta it gave 100 cars to what it described as “socially vibrant” individuals who had large online followings on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Throughout the Fiesta experiment, the selected agents traveled 1.4 million miles, generated 6 million YouTube views, nearly 740,000 Flickr views and 3.7 million Twitter impressions, according to statistics provided by Ford.
Last year when it introduced the new Focus, Ford created an online competition program called “Focus Rally.”
Ford wouldn’t reveal to the exact amount they spent developing the program, but experts estimate that the cost of producing a 6-episode reality program is relatively low. At the low end, a reality program can be produced for just under $1 million per episode, but on the high-end a flashy, well-produced reality program can run into several million dollars per episode.
In the case of “Escape Routes” some of the costs will be defrayed by selling space for traditional advertisements during the show, though none for competing automakers.


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