Ford gets lippy at the mall

The automaker is playing games with the public through digital storefronts in shopping centres during the holiday blitz.

Ford is taking over empty storefronts in malls in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to teach holiday shoppers about the new technology featured in its SUV, the Edge.

The MyFord Touch system in the cars responds to voice commands so drivers can keep both hands on the wheel and still change songs, turn the heat up or find restaurant options.

When not engaged, the shopping centre screens show an image of the Ford Edge or an alluring set of lips. When a passerby stops to interact with the screen, a game starts, instructing the user to ‘catch’ words that fly at them on the screen. The words are among the 10,000 commands the new technology recognizes.

The first ad went up this week in Toronto’s underground PATH tunnel/retail network, and three more will appear Dec. 1 in Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, the Eaton Centre in Montreal and Metrotown in Vancouver. Each will be up for four weeks.

The wall ads are designed to augment the traditional media buy Ford is running nationally through TV, print and online, Jamie Rae, marketing communications manager, Ford Canada, tells MiC.

‘MyFord Touch is the central technology to the 2011 Edge launch, and we look at this as a really cool way to be interactive,’ he says. ‘If you see someone engaging with this ad unit, others are going to see that, so it’s got that potential to attract a crowd and capture curiosity.’

The ads were executed by the Oakville office of Monster Media.

Ford has also integrated the vehicle into Battle of the Blades and placed mirror ads in restaurants in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.