Ford to debut SUV via Zynga game

Automotive manufacturer Ford Motor Co. will unveil the 2013 Ford Escape on Nov. 15 via social game developer Zynga‘s “Words With Friends” game. Ford is working with its ad agency Team Detroit on the initiative.

Consumers will be able to compete against actress Jenny McCarthy, who will be playing the Scrabble-like game live in Los Angeles from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday night. At the game’s conclusion, a turntable will reveal the 2013 Escape.

Crystal Worthem, manager of brand content and alliances for Ford, said the event will mark the first time the 2013 Escape is revealed to the world and represents a step away from the way a model is traditionally unveiled at an auto show.

The initiative is geared toward the Escape’s target consumer base of “tech-savvy young professionals,” said Worthem.

Consumers can participate in the event online by submitting word suggestions through livestreams on the Ford Escape Facebook page and Ford’s Livestream channel. Consumers in attendance can join the game by tweeting word suggestions to @escapeword or if they are selected to play alongside McCarthy on stage.

Ford is running interactive ads within the Facebook and mobile editions of Words With Friends and Sponsored Stories on Facebook to promote the game. The company is also hosting an event on Facebook that consumers can RSVP to attend.

Ford will be extending the initiative over the next three days by promoting words within the “Words With Friends” game that players can use in the game to register to win the car, Worthem said. She added that the Escape’s pre-launch period in March and April of next year will include further social gaming initiatives.

At the same time, Ford is launching a site for consumers to enter to participate in Escape Routes, a reality series that will cast six teams of two participants to compete in virtual and physical challenges related to the Escape.

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