Oliver Payne

Behavioural insight & comms consultant

‘04 Ford Thunderbirds iTV

Simulation: Please point-and-click red button and lozenge

Idea Generation | Art Direction

Ford of Britain has an ongoing strategy for using Interactive television to increase traffic to their dealerships. In partnership with Universal Pictures’ Thunderbirds-the movie, the agency was briefed to incentivise potential new customers to test drive a Ford with free tickets to see the movie.

Our audience was Dads with children over five, but probably not more than 14 or 15 years of age, so parent pester power was also to be considered.

In keeping with the film, Ford developed a series of offers on their key consumer vehicles that could be delivered using the trademark Thunderbirds 5,4,3,2,1 countdown. These offers were highlighted in a TV commercial and then explained in more detail using a Dedicated Adverstiser Location (DAL) when the TV commercial was running on Sky digital channels in the UK.

Building on the reputation of Thunderbirds and the spirit of the film, we created our own Thunderbird flight simulator. Viewers were sent on a rescue mission to pick up free cinema tickets that could only be picked up by test-driving one of the Ford range. The details of the mission were delivered during an inflight briefing as the spaceship flew around the world en route to Ford UK dealerships.

This execution pushed the boundaries of DiTV creative by delivering a full screen, highly engaging experience. As proof of this, Sky’s own inhouse DiTV technical team currently use this creative as a benchmark of what is possible in the channel to other organisations.

Despite the film being a huge flop at the box office, the DiTV content generated 2,937 requests to test drive one of the Ford range (more than any other Ford DiTV campaign) and 532 requests for a brochure. This represents a 3.2% conversion rate amongst the people who interacted with the digital content.

“…those of you who have seen the ads on [interactive] TV, will know what a great job Mike, Oliver and Dave have done… the results… are the best yet achieved out of a series of good work on Ford.“

Louise Ainsworth, Managing Director, OgilvyInteractive, London