Ford Explorer ventures into rich media

The brand is in the midst of a online-heavy buy that includes a pop-out SUV on and homepage takeovers of the Weather Network and

Visitors to this week may have been surprised by an SUV popping out of an ad and cruising around a little world. The execution is part of a new Ford Explorer campaign that is taking a cue from the success of last year’s pre-campaign online phase, which engaged fans through one-on-one conversations using texts, videos and images on Facebook.

‘This led to significant Facebook growth – more than 143,000 fans – and increased anticipation for the new Explorer,’ says Jamie Rae, marketing communications manager, Ford Motor Company, Canada.

The current ‘Go. Do.’ campaign, created by Y&R with media placement handled by Mindshare, continues the digital focus with a recent homepage takeover on, and login takeover on (pictured).

‘These types of executions not only allow for a mass reach, but also allow audiences to engage with the content, while not forcing them to leave the environment they are in to get it,’ Rae tells MiC.

Those who click on the MSN ad are taken to a virtual campsite, where they can click on different families to see a variety of Explorer-related videos and images. The media buy also includes TV and print advertising, with the aim of creating ‘an unscripted, organic look at Canadian families and the Canadian road trip, with a mini-documentary feel to TV spots,’ says Rae.

Ford has worked with MSN to launch similar bold digital buys last year for the launch of the Ford Fiesta, when a 3D campaign involved a triple takeover of the homepage, the XBox homepage and the MSN mobile site for one day.

‘This type of execution had not been done in Canada before and was especially new to the automotive category,’ says Rae.