Embracing Marketing Mistakes

Revving Up Equality: Ford's Empowering Campaign with Sydney Sweeney - Campaign Crunch

May 21, 2024 Prohibition PR Season 1 Episode 34
Revving Up Equality: Ford's Empowering Campaign with Sydney Sweeney - Campaign Crunch
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
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Embracing Marketing Mistakes
Revving Up Equality: Ford's Empowering Campaign with Sydney Sweeney - Campaign Crunch
May 21, 2024 Season 1 Episode 34
Prohibition PR

Rev up your engines and tune your ears—Sarah, our account exec with the midas touch for marketing campaigns, joins us to dissect Ford's high-octane partnership with 'Euphoria's star, Sydney Sweeney. Buckle up as we speed through the 'Build Ford Proud' campaign, where Sweeney's genuine passion for car mechanics shifts stereotypes into reverse and drives home the message of female empowerment in the auto industry. With less than 3% of mechanics being women, this collaboration isn't just a brand boost; it's a rallying cry for change, and Sarah's got the inside track on how Ford's strategy is igniting a conversation as powerful as their engines.

Lights, camera, traction! The campaign video has the polish of a blockbuster, but it's the story under the hood that captures our hearts. Sarah highlights the authenticity that fuels this campaign, from Sydney Sweeney's personal connection with car mechanics to the purpose-driven mission that steers it. Ford's not just selling cars; they're championing a future where the roar of American muscle isn't just for the boys. Join us for a turbocharged discussion on marketing with a purpose, advocacy through authenticity, and how bold visuals are matched with even bolder intentions.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

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Show Notes Transcript

Rev up your engines and tune your ears—Sarah, our account exec with the midas touch for marketing campaigns, joins us to dissect Ford's high-octane partnership with 'Euphoria's star, Sydney Sweeney. Buckle up as we speed through the 'Build Ford Proud' campaign, where Sweeney's genuine passion for car mechanics shifts stereotypes into reverse and drives home the message of female empowerment in the auto industry. With less than 3% of mechanics being women, this collaboration isn't just a brand boost; it's a rallying cry for change, and Sarah's got the inside track on how Ford's strategy is igniting a conversation as powerful as their engines.

Lights, camera, traction! The campaign video has the polish of a blockbuster, but it's the story under the hood that captures our hearts. Sarah highlights the authenticity that fuels this campaign, from Sydney Sweeney's personal connection with car mechanics to the purpose-driven mission that steers it. Ford's not just selling cars; they're championing a future where the roar of American muscle isn't just for the boys. Join us for a turbocharged discussion on marketing with a purpose, advocacy through authenticity, and how bold visuals are matched with even bolder intentions.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Campaign Crunch, our concise companion to Socially Inacceptable. This is a much shorter version of the show and we delve into the best marketing campaigns, dissecting successes, missteps and everything in between, all in under 20 minutes. Each episode tackles a specific campaign or crisis, meticulously examining its strategy, execution and, most importantly, the key takeaways for you and your brand. Are we hot? We hot, drop it like it's hot, right, okay, welcome back to Socially Unacceptable. This week, on Campaign Crunch, we've got the lovely Sarah with us today. How are you feeling? I feel excited, actually. This week, on campaign crunch, we've got the lovely Sarah in with us today. How you feeling?

Speaker 2:

I feel excited.

Speaker 1:

Actually, it's quite a nice campaign to talk about, so I'm ready and what do you do for a Sarah normally and you're in your day-to-day life. Don't tell everybody what you do for us when you, when you're here and I feel like I'm a lovely, reliable account exec.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, just getting my head is stuck into work so, yeah, so you've brought a campaign um which you shared with us about probably was it five, six weeks ago, something like that that we saw this I think, so, yeah, I remember it quite well, because I remember thinking, because you're all of your celebs with your generation z knowledge and unfortunately my knowledge of celebrities in that area is is is not very vast, so why don't you walk us through what the campaign is and which brand it was, and then, yeah, how it's all come about? We'd like to hear what you think and why you brought this campaign to us okay.

Speaker 2:

So my campaign was with ford and sydney sweeney, so syd Sydney Sweeney is a 26 year old American actress and she's best known for her work in Euphoria, white Lotus, now Madam Web, and she's in a few rom-coms now as well. So not actually only a celebrity, but she has a genuine love for cars and car mechanics. So in around 2021, she started posting a series of TikToks on her TikTok account, sid's Garage, where she was documenting her work on her 1969 Ford Bronco. Um, so yeah, um, that's where it all kind of started with Sydney. Um. So Ford kind of took that as an opportunity to partner with Sydney and kind of break stereotypes, because in 2023, they decided that Sydney would be the start of their next campaign. Ford launched their Build Ford Proud campaign, which aimed to celebrate the next generation of drivers, and it was a purpose-led campaign. After their research found that less than 3% of mechanics are female. After their research found that less than 3% of mechanics are female.

Speaker 1:

Which is amazing because a famous Hollywood actress A-list actress doing mechanics off her own back. That's what makes this campaign authentic. Right, when you shared it, I was like, have they got somebody and asked her to do it? But she generally does it all herself, doesn't she?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think she mentioned that she has. She came from like a family of mechanics, um, and she always saw like her grandpa like doing loads of work on cars in their house, um, and she kind of just was brought up in that kind of environment so thanks for that, sarah.

Speaker 3:

Before we um dive into that campaign, then let's watch the video. When I got into the industry, I had to create my own path.

Speaker 2:

I was the only girl in the shop. What big waves surfing. It's like stepping into the ring with a monster.

Speaker 1:

I mean, yeah, that video is amazing. It's shot like a Hollywood trailer and obviously yeah, it's like drive.

Speaker 3:

It reminds me of Drive or something like that, the way it's shot.

Speaker 1:

And the cars in it. American muscle cars look amazing.

Speaker 3:

Sarah, is this a pure um kind of brand campaign for ford? Then they've they've decided um, they wanted to kind of go down the purpose route. They realized women mechanics is something that needs addressing. It's relevant to them as a brand.

Speaker 2:

It's relevant to their audience yeah, and that's exactly what um they wanted to achieve. Um, I think, especially when they saw sid's garage and like the kind of content she was posting on her tick tock in 2021, um, I guess they saw her as a perfect kind of fit because she was already kind of in the kind of industry in terms of content, like she was putting that kind of content out there and, as you noticed, on the video, um, they don't even mention that she's an a-list celebrity and they mention that she's the creator of Sid's Garage on TikTok.

Speaker 3:

Do you know if she's worked with brands before um, because it feels to me you know she's a Hollywood um actor. She um is um obviously got this kind of hugely influential kind of automotive side to what she does. Or is Ford the first brand to kind of collaborate with her in this way? Well, with this?

Speaker 2:

Ford partnership. Um, she's also kind of collaborate with her in this way. Well, with this Ford partnership, she's also kind of partnered with Dickies as well, the workwear brand, and she's created her own line of overalls. I feel like she mentioned that this is her first kind of partnership where it actually means something to her, like it's an authentic partnership for her because it actually has a lot of value to her. I feel like it's a kind of a two, because it actually has a lot of value to her, and I feel like it's a kind of a two-way kind of partnership with ford and sydney.

Speaker 1:

And you can see that, like, the TikTok channel's got 1.8 million followers, but it's also got 7.6 million likes because we know that followers aren't as important on TikTok. It's all about the engagement, isn't it? And the views and stuff. Some of the videos have got like 4 million views, 8 million views, and she's in the Dickies workwear gear and everything it does look. It's just really really authentic content with a slightly unusual situation. We did something similar, will, didn't we? Years ago for the National Apprenticeship Week, where we were celebrating women in construction. It's a similar sort of purpose-led campaign we were working for one of our construction clients and it's that sort of thing. But this is great because it's a Hollywood A-list celebrity celebrating how to build what is a great car. So there's a second part to this story as well, isn't there?

Speaker 2:

where she gives away.

Speaker 2:

Do you want to go into that as well?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so, um, before she like, it was early this year where she was gonna um, she collaborated with ford again and she was then going to I think it was a giveaway for the 2024 mustang um, where it was a one-of-a-kind mustang gt that was designed with an all-woman team for ford's 60th anniversary um.

Speaker 2:

But before that um, sydney started to collaborate with ford and on social media. So on her sid's garage channel they launched her auto 101 series and it was a three-part series that currently has over 17 million views, and this is when dickies joined in as well and joined forces with the campaign as well, and sydney said that she wanted to create pieces for all genders and personalities, especially because, like mechanics and the car, industry can be a very male-dominated space, and she wanted to design pieces that felt more inclusive and fun. The overall sold out immediately. Um. I think the most popular item um was overalls and they sold out within 36 hours, and I think the restock sold out as well so what's what's ford seen off the back of this partnership, then, do you think, what sort of results have they had?

Speaker 2:

uh, so they measured success because the whole campaign video I think that reached over 22 million tiktok views and then had over 600 000 views on youtube and it had a direct impact on consumer engagement and it was an authentic brand partnership and it's um for me.

Speaker 3:

It's mean I don't know too much about Ford as a brand in the US, but it's a very longstanding, quite conservative brand. I'd have thought traditionally, isn't it? And this feels like a little bit of a. I mean, I don't know what else they've been, I don't know if you've got any information on what else they've been doing from a brand perspective, but this feels like they're really sort of they're trying something new and, and you know, they're sort of leaning into this new audience, aren't they? It feels quite.

Speaker 2:

It feels a little bit disruptive for probably what is quite a traditional brand yeah, I think definitely disruptive in the kind of people they wanted to partner with, especially because in the original built ford proud campaign they're showcasing sydney, sweeney, dee Bryant and Kai Lenny One is a stunt driver and the other is a deep sea diver and yeah, it's just a real mix of people in that initial video and the people they're working with, but they're initially celebrating the greater community of Ford drivers who have broken the mould and driven innovation and divide stereotypes for nearly 120 years.

Speaker 1:

So breaking stereotypes is the campaign. Yeah, interesting, isn't it? What was their PR strategy in terms of coverage? How much coverage did they get for this campaign? Where did they get results? Do we know that?

Speaker 2:

Well, they got coverage in Taiwan, titles such as Vogue, people, entertainment, tonight.

Speaker 1:

Cosmo. I saw a piece in Cosmo.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that was after the second part of the campaign. It was just kind of how Sydney felt about that actual collaboration and why it was such a big deal for her, which is nice to see. It's nice to see her reflecting on why it was such an important partnership for herself.

Speaker 1:

What, feels good about this is that Ford have moved into other areas that are not normally like. You wouldn't expect to see a ford in vogue and cosmo, would you, unless they paid for the placement. So I think that's quite a good way of moving into different, different media well, yeah, you'd never get ford talked about in those titles, would you?

Speaker 3:

and, and, and, is it? It's the celebrity kind of cachet of Sydney? Is it that's driven? That I mean? Obviously it's an authentic partnership which has also driven it Driven, driven it. Well, I mean, and cynically speaking, they've obviously done some sort of research looking at how many women buy their cars and they've probably looked at their competitors and thought we need more women buying our cars, so we need to be relevant.

Speaker 1:

It's fascinating to know how many women have bought a Ford Mustang, because it's a real muscle car, isn't it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, she was originally setting up and restoring her Ford Bronco. I think that was a car she had in the family before, right, but now it's kind of focused on her. I think it was the Mustang that she was kind of fixing on her. I think it was the mustang that she was um kind of fixing up and it was a. I think she did it in like a britney blue, um just like a classic kind of color the competition element of the campaign.

Speaker 1:

Somebody won the mustang that she did up right yeah, so she great prize isn't it?

Speaker 2:

yeah, millions of entries it said that for the latest collab that emphases on Mustang, sydney basically designed this one-of-a-kind Mustang GT for Ford's 60th anniversary. She shared the video on Instagram with her like 16, like probably more now 16 million followers on Instagram and she was basically announcing that she was going to give one lucky fan this brand new car that she had designed. But um, kind of tying everything in from like the women um in like motorsports and like mechanics and the car industry aspect. Um, she designed that car with an all-women theme as well.

Speaker 1:

That's cool that is really cool so a really good campaign.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for that. So two main themes really one, um, very much a purpose-led campaign, as you've identified. Secondly, quite an interesting brand collab with dickies as well, which, which um, which seemed to work really well. And, as chris said, actually I think the takeaway for us is the fact that ford has broken into a whole new kind of tier of media. You know, when would you ever expect ford as a brand to be talked about in vogue or in any of the kind of traditional women's media? And I think this campaign's absolutely got cut through there. So I think probably will absolutely build the brand equity with the um, the female market.

Speaker 1:

And to go back, to what will was saying what it's done there is with it, with she's 26 right she is is that gen zero millennial?

Speaker 1:

um, I think she's probably on the coast, on the edge yeah, and so that that has also not only opened up other media, I'd say it's opened up a new audience as well. So it isn't the oh, my dad used to have a ford escort or a ford cortina, it's oh, look at this cool a-list celebrity who's done renovated a classic, amazing muscle car and oh, I could drive one of them, or I could get involved, I could work in this industry.

Speaker 3:

So, yeah, brilliant campaign now quick quest, final question. You mentioned two other elements of the campaign deep sea diver, and what else was it?

Speaker 2:

um, I think it was a stunt driver as well and have they got?

Speaker 3:

do you know if they've kind of got cut through as well with those components? Or was the Sydney Sweeney collab the one that really kind of hit the mainstream?

Speaker 2:

I think it was mostly sydney's that got into the mainstream just because of her like kind of status in like hollywood. But yeah, I still find like the other two kind of um celebrities really interesting, because it's still so different for ford, like when would you ever see ford collaborate with a deep sea diver?

Speaker 1:

yeah brilliant.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much for that, sarah thanks for coming on the show, sarah.

Speaker 1:

That was good.