Through a partnership between the Ford Motor Company and Gannett Co.-owned rich media firm PointRoll, Ford is promoting its new crossover SUV, the Flex, on Gannett’s USA Today mobile WAP site with expandable rich media units specifically designed for the Apple iPhone.
“This is an exciting vehicle for us, because it appeals to a huge variety of consumers,” said Usha Raghavachari, communications manager at Ford. “Flex is a very technologically advanced vehicle for Ford and it gives us the potential to talk to a different kind of audience.”
IPhone ownership largely overlaps this affluent audience, Raghavachari added, and Jason Tafler, CEOof PointRoll, noted that USA Today readers overlap with iPhone users as well.
“More that 20% of USA Today readers are on the iPhone,” he said.
The Ford PointRoll mobile ads expand when a user clicks on the banner from the USA Today site. It then automatically triggers a video of the car, without navigating away from the USA Today site.
“Average consumers are not going to research their new cars on the mobile Web, but they may catch a glimpse,” said Scott Kelly, digital marketing manager at Ford Motor Company. “[This campaign] gives them an introduction without making them have to click through or leave where they are.”
The PointRoll application is also being used by NBC Universal’s Focus Features to promote Joel and Ethan Coen’s new movie, Burn After Reading.
“People have less time,” Kelly added. “We are trying to get your attention in a way that is much more entertaining and engaging.”