For the launch of their new All-Electric Explorer, Ford’s goal was to attract potential customers for their first volume passenger electric car designed and built in Europe. However, they had to find a way to effectively move them from awareness to consideration, even though the car was not yet available in dealerships – they needed to bridge the gap between the car's launch and its physical availability.
For this experience, Ford identified audience engagement as one of their primary KPIs and wanted to understand how much time potential customers spent actively engaging with their product and brand.
Ford partnered with Imagination, a global brand experience agency, to create an immersive 3D Virtual Test Drive (where users could virtually “get behind the wheel”) for the new All-Electric Explorer. Imagination, long-standing partners of Ford, are known for creating outcome-led, innovative customer experiences. The goal of the experience was to blur the lines between reality and virtual reality by allowing customers to engage with the product through interactive participation.
Powered by the gaming platform Unreal Engine, the event harnessed cutting-edge Pixel Streaming technology and PureWeb’s scalable cloud-streaming platform to allow users to interact with the car in a hyperreal digital environment. This interactive real-time 3D experience, distributed by PureWeb, was easily accessible on any device to users via a web browser from the comfort of their home.
Supported by PureWeb’s cloud-streaming platform, it was the world’s biggest-ever automotive launch using Pixel Streaming technology.
Following the success of the online reveal, Imagination will generate content to be shared across Ford’s social channels that will capture the momentum from the launch and encourage people to visit the Ford website to make reservations. A virtual test drive will also be made available as an extension of the launch, allowing the general public to experience the car digitally and learn about its unique design features across three unique environments.
Peter Zillig, Marketing Director, Ford in Europe, said: “The reveal of the new electric Explorer™ SUV was a milestone moment in our journey to an all-electric future in Europe, featuring cutting-edge Hollywood-style CGI and a pixel-streamed virtual test drive with our partners at PureWeb. It was a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to create meaningful connections with potential customers.”