Interest in EVs and hybrids is up according to the record March sales reports for the U.S. market. With high fuel costs as a negative driver to finding money-saving alternatives, and luxury (think designated parking spaces and car pool lane use) incentives as positive reinforcements, many people are seeing the perks of switching over to cleaner cars.
However, with the electric market still in its infancy, and therefore slowly gaining a broader-range of interest, Ford is looking for alternative ways to market its all-electric fleet through an internet-based reality series called “Plugged In”.
The show will be broadcast on Yahoo! Screen starting in May, and will feature different celebrity hosts that will follow the contestants through Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Atlanta, Raleigh, and Boston. The game will consist of the contestants being given clues to complete different challenges and tasks throughout each city, and will culminate in one team of people each winning a 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
Yahoo’s video site reports to get 61 million unique viewers per month, and already has 21 original online programs. Ford is hoping to use what Yahoo has learned about its viewing audience to boost interest and sales through viral marketing and it just may prove to be perfect timing for that approach. Fuel prices are up, EVs are abuzz in the media, and American thirst for celebrity-led reality shows seems to have yet met satiation. The show highlighting the benefits of the 105 MPGe (combined) Ford Focus Electric through an entertaining game show may just appeal to the mass American Idol watching audience it hopes to captivate.
You do have to admit, it’s a clever job with innovation and use of technology in the marketing department. What do you think? Do you plan to check out the series?