Mustang, the auto marque owned by Ford, successfully fueled demand for its Mach-E electric SUV without even having a finished product to show off to consumers

Lisa Schoder, head of Ford’s US integrated marketing and media, discussed this subject during a recent online conference held by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

And she reported that the launch announcement for the Mach-E late last year took place in advance of the vehicle’s final production, with orders being accepted for late 2020.

“We had to build excitement around something that did not yet exist,” explained Schoder - a task further complicated by common perceptions of legacy automakers. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Ford Motor Co. spurned legacy media and leaned heavily on social to introduce a powerful brand extension.)

“We have to compete in a world that expects innovation from Silicon Valley, not a [now] 117-year old company,” she added.

And social media was at the heart of initial promotion efforts for the Mach-E, as Mustang partnered with artists who paint with light and a range of influencers to offer a string of hints about the vehicle’s design.

A “secret event” deep in a historic Ford building also gave a select group the first look at the new vehicle, allowing them to drop hints to their followers who began to clamour for more.

Social feeds featured a car under cover, creating what the Ford marketing team called “a fever pitch of conversation and speculation,” too.

With social media churning in the background, some of the more traditional car-launch items began to fall into place, as Idris Elba, the English actor, injected the Mustang Mach-E with a cultural persona.

Observed Schoder, “We came out of the gates strong, generating tons of buzz” around a livestreamed event hosted by Elba.

And the initial “Sorry, Sold Out” sign went up after eight days, when the automaker offered exclusive front-of-the-line, first-edition reservations. Within eight weeks, customers in all 50 states had signed on to buy the new model, too.

Sourced from WARC