Ford Targets Women With Unique Promotional Campaign
When it comes to the household purse strings, women are the ones holding the bag.
“Women drive close to 75 percent of durable goods purchases at the household level,” said Michael Silverstein, principal at Boston Consulting Group and author of “Trading Up: The New American Luxury.” “They are both the contributors to income growth and the definitive allocators of spending. They can buy a new car, or they can invest in a new kitchen.”
Recognizing the power of the purse, Ford Motor Company has developed an elaborate marketing campaign designed to sway women to choose the new car -- specifically, the all-new 2006 Ford Fusion.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had a new mid-size car for female Gen-Xers,” said Linda Perry-Lube, Ford car communications manager. “We’re reaching out to a target audience that we haven’t talked to in a long time. So, we needed a creative way to break through and get on their consideration list.”
At the heart of the Ford’s strategy to reach women is Fusion Studio D (the “D” stands for Life in Drive), a unique lifestyle experience center which is currently traveling to 10 malls across the country through the end of October. It’s a pop-up store set up in the mall where women can interact with the Fusion while they’re being treated with everything from beauty services and fitness training to music and health information. It also offers visitors the opportunity to test-drive the car.
“Fusion Studio D was designed to touch on the three ’passion points’ of women: beauty, fitness and music,” said Perry-Lube. “It’s all about engaging women where they already are -- in the mall -- in a completely non-threatening, non-showroom environment so that they can start to connect with the brand and see that we have this cool vehicle.”
Coming up with imaginative ways to capture women’s attention is key, according to Silverstein.
“Women know that they’re in the ’driver’s seat’ and have many options,” he said. “You need to help them understand why you are better.”
Integrated into Fusion Studio D is Ford’s 11-year commitment to the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure®, a series of races held throughout the country to help raise money for breast cancer research. A Fusion decaled in the new Race for the Cure® “Warriors in Pink” motif -- designed to represent the powerful, courageous fighters of breast cancer -- will be on display at all Studio locations. Women will also receive fitness tips on how to prepare for the race.
“We’ve planned it so that we’re in various markets just prior to the Race for the Cure® event,” explained Perry-Lube. “Our goal is to help raise awareness among younger women about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and to encourage them to pick up a race packet.”
The Fusion Studio D beauty experience offers complimentary eye makeovers, a chance to custom design a t-shirt at the Do-It-Yourself Fashion Fusion station and interpretative lip readings.
“Think palm-reading for lips,” said Perry-Lube with a laugh. “They can come in and kiss this card, and then we’ll interpret what their lip stain means and give them a certain personality like ’You love shoes,’ or ’You’re a gold-digger.’ ”
Radio stations will be broadcasting from Fusion Studio D, and Perry-Lube says radio and newspaper advertising is planned in the various markets. Guerilla marketing teams will also be out with flyers inviting people to come into the store.
In addition to dispensing information about Race for the Cure, Fusion Studio D’s fitness experience offers fitness coaching and personalized training workouts as well as demonstrations on new ways to work out in your car. The music experience gives women a chance to listen to up-and-coming female artists and get a free CD or download card of their music.
“This is a very different marketing approach for us -- one that we hope will ultimately result in sales,” said Perry-Lube.
For more information about Fusion Studio D and a complete calendar of events, visit www.FusionStudioD.com.
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