Ford Motor Co. has launched a gamification campaign to promote its new prime-time reality TV show “Escape Routes,” airing March 31 on NBC, confirmed Aaron Miller, Ford product communications coordinator. The campaign includes a microsite and social media elements.
The campaign, which was created by New York digital ad agency Rokkan, demonstrates a growing trend of brands turning to gaming to interact with consumers and keep them engaged longer.
Rokkan was hired by Team Detroit to create the show’s website, Melyssa Brown, Rokkan’s digital strategist told Direct Marketing News. Through the website, which launched last night, fans of the show can choose one of six teams to support throughout the show’s season and win prizes.
“They’re getting to know the brand in a more intimate and organic way,” Brown said. “Rokkan has a long history of gaming brands and creating games and that’s the trend in the industry right now—everyone wants a game.”
The more fans interact with the site by completing challenges or recruiting friends, the more points they earn to win prizes. One lucky fan will win a new Ford Escape, while others can win trips, cameras, bikes and other prizes, Brown said.
Each of the TV team members also have their own social channels that fans can directly interact with to help them win the overall TV competition with clues and other bonuses.
This is the second season Ford airs a reality TV show, but Rokkan said the campaign last year featured a Ford Focus and was not as interactive as this year’s show.
“This is really cutting edge because it happens in real time, which has never been done before,” Brown said.
The campaign, Brown said, is a way for users to spend more time interacting with the brand on the site. In addition to being fun for people, the gaming campaign benefits the brand by keeping people engaged.
“[The campaign] is creating a highly engaged and organically impactful community around the brand that wouldn’t be there in print campaign and it’s much more lasting,” Brown said.