Ford Social recently had the chance to sit down with Ford Car Experiential Marketing Manager, Mary Ellen Abraham, to pick her brain about the integration of the new Taurus in the third installment of the hit sci-fi movie series, Men in Black, as well as her thoughts around the specially produced trailer for the film, entitled “These Guys.”
Mary Ellen was able to give us some great insights surrounding how, when and why Ford chooses to be involved in the entertainment industry, and she was even kind enough to forego using that neuralizer-flashy-thing afterwards, allowing us to share this story with you today.
Ford Social: How did the opportunity to be involved in Men in Black 3 come about?
Mary Ellen: We were very excited when the director of MIB3 Barry Sonnenfeld approached us about the integration. Barry is a fan of Ford products and expressed his desire to use the new Taurus – in his words a vehicle “equivalent to the black suit.” Knowing the movie would be a blockbuster and just in time for the launch of the 2013 Taurus, the decision was easy!
What specifically made the new Taurus a good fit for MIB3?
The timing of the film’s debut aligned with our launch of the new 2013 Taurus, and provided an opportunity to amplify our messaging on innovation, performance, and attitude. The 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine with 365 horsepower* in the Taurus SHO, stars in our MIB3 spot. Taurus and MIB3 are a great fit: the Taurus is smart and powerful enough to take on the big screen and … aliens!
On which media platforms will the Ford MIB3 trailer, “These Guys,” be running?
As part of promotional efforts tied to the film, we launched a co-branded 30-second spot that will run in over 7,700 screenings in 1,100 theaters across the country from May 4, 2012, through the end of May. In addition the spot was aired on May 9, 2012, on American Idol.
How often does Ford try to integrate their vehicles into movies and TV shows?
We love the opportunity to integrate our vehicles into entertainment properties. The car driven by a character can help express their personality by the inherent personality conveyed by our products. Often a vehicle’s personality takes center stage, steals the scene and plays a role as a character in a film. Product placement has been a consistent strategy for Ford, and we work to maximize each opportunity by selecting vehicles that align with a program’s brand and personality.
What are some previous examples of integrations where a Ford vehicle is the “hero car” of a movie or TV show?
Ford does a great job amplifying the brand through integrations in movies, television and online web series. Some of our recent integrations include:
I Am Legend – Ford GT500
Casino Royale – Ford Mondeo
Quantum of Solace – Ford Edge and Ford Ka
Think Like A Man – Ford Taurus SHO
White Collar – Ford Taurus
We Bought A Zoo – Ford Flex
Alcatraz –Ford Mustang
Vampire Diaries – Ford Fiesta
Dating Rules from My Future Self – Ford Focus
Are there specific targets or goals associated with an integration such as this?
The goal is ultimately about brand awareness. We allow entertainment to intersect with marketing, providing an organic recognition of our products to resonate with consumers. In the case of MIB3, we expect the millions of moviegoers who watch the film to get a clear perspective on the Taurus – a bold, sophisticated and innovative performance vehicle. That was the goal, and that is just how it was executed in MIB3.
What do you think the overall impact will be as far as sentiment around the new Taurus?
The Taurus is the Ford flagship sedan. It’s cool, it’s bold, it’s refined and it’s filled with technology. That’s the sentiment!
Visit ford.com for more information on the 2013 Ford Taurus.