People-carriers (MPVs) are not sexy vehicles and one MPV does not stand out from another. However, one of the stand-out characteristics of Ford’s Galaxy is the in-car entertainment system – incorporating high-quality radio, CD players, MP3 players and TVs.
Global Radio’s Classic FM team researched the Galaxy’s target market – male, aged 35-plus and with two-plus children. It found that the car was at the centre of everything the family did, from driving the kids to school to picking them up from football practice or ballet lessons, taking them to theme parks, or visiting their grandparents.
Classic FM developed a strategy that hinged on building a connection between children, the parents and Ford. Research showed that parents believe reading stories to their kids is a hugely beneficial experience for both parties. When linked to the perennial problem of kids getting bored on car journeys, Classic FM came up with the idea of the Ford Galaxy of Stories.
The team produced a series of 20 Hans Christian Andersen stories including The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling and The Little Match Girl, which were read by celebrities, including Joanna Lumley and Richard E Grant, and played on Classic FM over the weekend.
Both media owner and client felt the idea was strong enough to be carried across other media, and so Classic FM linked up with The Times and The Sunday Times, which reviewed the stories each week. The team also produced podcasts that were made available on Timesonline.co.uk, on Ford’s website and via iTunes.
The Classic FM team not only conceived a hard-hitting campaign, but also persuaded Ford to commit its entire Galaxy annual media budget. The podcast was downloaded 189,877 times, taking it to the top of the iTunes kids chart, while 55,652 people interacted with the Times Online stories.
Research showed that three out of four people who recalled the campaign gave Ford a seven-plus score out of 10 for family friendliness.
The activity led to a 32% hike in sales of the Galaxy, boosting Ford’s lead over rival car manufacturers.
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