Division A7: Promotional/Marketing
Ford Motor Company’s MyKey Tour

Research/Situation Analysis: In Florida, teenagers are at greater risk of being in an accident than any other demographic. What’s more, crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities in Florida. Ford Motor Company recognizes the importance of creating products that will keep all drivers, especially teenagers, safer on the road, which will provide parents peace of mind. This commitment led Ford to create a unique and innovative technology called MyKey.  This technology is designed to help parents ensure their teenagers will drive more safely and more fuel efficiently, and increase safety-belt usage. The MyKey feature, which is a standard feature in most Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury vehicles, allows owners to designate keys that can help limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume. The unique interactive components of this technology compelled us to strategize a new way to bring this type of technology to consumers. In preparation for the debut of Ford Motor Company’s newest teen safety technology, Moore Consulting Group (MCG) conducted qualitative research to identify the markets and methods that would resonate most in Florida. As we conducted the research, we determined the key component to ensure success was to bring this technology to key markets to allow for an innovative hands-on approach.  Based on this research, it was determined that a MyKey tour in Florida, bringing the product to the target audiences, would be the public relations tool to generate exposure.  MCG met with Ford Motor Company executives to outline recommendations on how to best promote the safety features and increase awareness of the company’s commitment to safety with the MyKey Florida tour.  Target Audiences: The primary audiences were media representatives throughout Florida and key influentials (including law enforcement, school board officials, parent advocacy groups, transportation officials, business leaders and local and state elected officials) and the general public, specifically parents and teenagers.

Objectives: 1) To showcase Ford’s innovative safety technology by conducting a minimum of 24 MyKey technology demonstrations to target audiences in seven key markets throughout Florida; 2) To be invited to participate in the 2009 Teen Driver Safety Summit and recognized as a leader in automotive safety initiatives; and 3) To obtain positive media coverage for MyKey and its safety features as measured by earning a minimum of 20 broadcast, print, radio, and online media hits.

Implementation: 1) Moore Consulting Group developed the tour schedule based on targeting major media markets throughout the state:  Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, Ocala, Gainesville, and Tallahassee. Once locations were secured, we conducted extensive research to identify target audiences that are well connected to their communities and could ultimately provide Ford Motor Company with opportunities to highlight their initiatives through high profile events. MCG developed and distributed personal invitations to target audiences that were customized by location and included information on recent safety belt legislation. Through our outreach efforts, we engaged target audiences in MyKey technology through discussion, demonstrations, and collateral material.  MCG also ensured target audiences received product information and an overview of technology and safety initiatives of Ford Motor Company in order to activate them as advocates.  MCG prepared key messages, served as spokespeople for the technology, and provided all guests and media thorough demonstrations of the vehicle and the MyKey technology.  2) Based on the extensive outreach and exposure throughout Florida, Ford was invited to participate as a panelist for the 2009 Teen Driver Safety Summit (as well as the 2009 Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office Safety Fair.)  The summit brought together safety advocates statewide to discuss solutions for reducing teen crashes and fatalities. MCG served as a spokesperson for Ford on the panel and Ford Motor Company was highlighted as an automaker with a forward-thinking approach to teen safety among target audiences, including the media. Ford’s MyKey prototype vehicle was displayed at the center of the event, which allowed MCG to engage key influentials, media and safety-oriented consumers with the MyKey technology through interactive personal demonstration experiences.  3.) MCG targeted TV, radio, print and online media in each of the seven cities during the MyKey tour.   The drivable prototype and the features of the technology were highly visual for television and print/online outlets and MCG served as a Ford spokesperson, providing a thorough explanation and demonstration of the technology for all media. Media materials were developed including media alert, news release, etc. and targeted media outlets were pitched to come out and see the product firsthand. This safety technology is truly interactive and made the most impact as a hands-on demonstration, providing a personal experience for the target audience.

Evaluation: Response to the tour was extremely favorable, far exceeding the goals.1.) The events and outreach efforts resulted in 129 demonstrations and exceeded the initial goal by 105 demonstrations! These hands-on experiences were given to print, online, television, and radio media, as well as key audiences such as the Florida Highway Patrol, Sherriff’s Offices, Police Departments, Department of Transportation, school boards, high schools, County Driver Education programs, traffic schools, and Community Traffic Safety Teams. Key leaders included Orlando Commissioner Samuel B. Ings, Representative Ronald Brise, Representative Julio Rabaina’s staff, Senator Charles Dean’s staff, Representative Kurt Kelly, in addition to the general public. 2.) As a result of the outreach efforts of the MyKey Tour, Ford Motor Company was invited to play a significant role in the 2009 Teen Driver Safety Summit by serving on the panel and conducting media interviews.  Additionally, Ford’s involvement in the Summit was highlighted in generated media coverage, which included 12 television media hits in five Florida markets. 3.) Media coverage for the seven-city tour was overwhelming. With 50 television, radio and print and online media hits, coverage from the events exceeded our goal by 30 media hits and generated millions of impressions across the state.

Budget: Travel expenses: $1,364.18; MyKey vehicle fuel/maintenance: $188.68; account servicing time (portion of retainer that applies to this work): $7,500; Total cost: $9,052.86.