PARKIES

TitlePARKIES
ClientFORD
Product / ServiceFOCUS
CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantJWT Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Entrant Company JWT Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Advertising Agency JWT Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
PR Agency BULLET PR Auckland, NEW ZEALAND

The Campaign

Our Challenge: The new Ford Focus parks itself. Amazing right? You’d think that should be in the news. Unfortunately, there are many other new cars with similar technology. Our challenge was to make the Ford Focus the champion of hands-free parking. Our Insight: New Zealand is a nation obsessed with sport, so we thought – why not turn our news into sports news? Our Idea: The Parker of the Year Championships – The Parkies. In a specially built arena, competitors took on the hands-free Ford Focus, to become the Parker of the Year. Results: Earned media reached over 1.6m people – that’s over 1 in 3 New Zealanders. Making Ford Focus the best known car for hands-free parking.* *Perceptive Omnibus Research.

The Brief

The strategy of the campaign was to increase Ford’s ‘smart’ credentials in the small car category by showcasing the hands-free parking technology of the Ford Focus. The target audience were Aucklanders and wider New Zealand. In downtown Auckland parking is a real issue – this cultural backdrop provided a great springboard to reach wider New Zealand small car buyers. A key objective from Ford was to engage audiences through earned media.

Results

Earned media from the Parkies event reached over 1.6 million people, which is over 1 in 3 New Zealanders – an excellent result for the $120,000 investment in the event. Media coverage included a 5 minute feature story on the hands free parking technology of the Ford Focus on the nation’s top rating prime time current affairs show. Not to mention page two stories in the nation’s leading Sunday newspapers. Importantly, the Ford Focus is now best known car for hands free parking.* *Perceptive Omnibus Research

Execution

The Parker of the Year Championships (the Parkies) is a creative media idea – where the two disciplines come together. The Parkies provided a media spectacle for the story of Ford’s hands-free parking technology to naturally appear in. The tension and drama of the sports arena had instant entertainment value as sports crazed audiences in NZ naturally gravitated to the rugby style sports action and commentary. The spectacle of the live sports event naturally attracted the news media. We selectively invited key news media personalities to be involved in the event: the nations leading sports commentator called the action, motoring journalists volunteered as umpires, celebrity All Blacks and Netball players competed and reported. We encouraged these key media influencers to become our channels to reach wider New Zealand. And, it worked a treat.

The Situation

The new Ford Focus parks itself. Unfortunately, there are many other new cars with similar technology. Our challenge was to make the Ford Focus the champion of hands-free parking. New Zealand’s media is dominated by a national obsession with sport. So, we took the tension inherent in parallel parking and created a new sport: the Parker of the Year Championships (The Parkies). Complete with umpires, bumper judges, a purpose built arena and the nation’s leading sports commentator, competitors took on the Hands-free Ford Focus in the chance to become the nation’s Parker of the Year.

The Strategy

The strategy of the campaign was to increase Ford’s ‘smart’ credentials in the small car category by showcasing the hands-free parking technology of the Ford Focus. The target audience were Aucklanders and wider New Zealand. In downtown Auckland parking is a real issue – this cultural backdrop provided a great springboard to reach wider New Zealand small car buyers. A key objective from Ford was to engage audiences through earned media.

Credits

Name Company Position
Nick Wrigley Jwt Media Planner
Suzanne Bull Jwt Media Director
Darryn Warhaft Jwt Creative Services Director
Harriet Butler Jwt Account Manager
Bree Meyers Jwt Senior Account Manager
Aaron Taylor Jwt Group Account Director
Rose Steele Jwt Account Executive
Glenn Chapman Jwt Designer
Ruwani Perera Bullet Pr Pr Co-Ordinator
Paul Gunn Gunn Communications Event Manager
Robin Rawstorne Rawstorne Design Production Designer
Rod Prosser Jwt Art Director
Sam Dickson Jwt Copywriter
Jacqueline Smart Jwt Planning Director
Simon Lendrum Jwt Managing Director
Cleve Cameron Jwt Creative Director