Ford recycles, but goes after new demo

A second phase of the Recycle Your Ride program launched this month and Ford gives MiC the scoop on a media plan that's setting the stage for a major eight-model release later this year.

As Ford Canada readies to launch eight new cars this year, phase two of its Recycle Your Ride program, which launched this month, aims to expand the consumer base by offering incentives for drivers to turn in their aging rides.

Following on the success of a similar program last year – which ended in March and resulted in 6,000 vehicles being turned in – the program now offers up to $3,000 towards a new vehicle in exchange for Fords built between 1996 and 2003. This means that about 60% of Ford’s vehicles currently on the road qualify, and the media plan promoting the program is designed to reach all of them, Jim Hartford, director of marketing for Ford Canada, tells MiC.

‘Digital is a very big part of our media mix,’ he explains, adding that the Mindshare-handled buy includes executions on the lifestyle and fashion-focused channels of, daily newspapers and their websites, radio, and search engine marketing to capture consumers surfing the web for trade-in incentives.

‘Now you have a lot of people who were thinking they couldn’t afford a new car saying, ‘Hey, yes I can afford a new car and trade in my old car for one that’s more fuel efficient,’ Hartford says.

Launching a new lineup of cars in categories Ford hadn’t previously been in also presents new marketing opportunities on the sponsorship level. Earlier this month, Ford was a first-time sponsor of the Hot Docs International Film Festival in Toronto, with ads for the new Fiesta 2011 airing during screenings.

‘Over the past few years people have been noticing a change in our company and a change in our products,’ says Hartford. ‘When you look the Fiesta, it’s a car that’s really engaging people – I think people are very excited about the design of it. The type of person that goes to Hot Docs, they’re sort of energized, on-the-go people – involved people – and as we look at the demographic that goes there and the demographic that we’re targeting with the new Fiesta, it’s a very, very good fit.’

The launch of the Fiesta 2011 will be accompanied by a TV, print and online campaign later this summer, while the Recycle Your Ride executions are running until July.