DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- British director Jonathon Newman is working on a short film to help Ford Motor Co. launch its 2010 Mustang about 100 days from now.
Mr. Newman was one of 400 directors from 28 countries who submitted a "Mustang Story" screenplay to Filmaka, Los Angeles, for an online, pre-launch film effort for the popular pony car. His screenplay was among 20 submissions funded by Ford with $5,000 for production and posted on the2010mustang.com.
Mr. Newman's film was also among nine whittled down to a 60-second preview spot; each which will air during one of nine episodes of NBC's "Knight Rider." Ford's integration deal with the network has its Mustang Shelby GT500KR playing the role of KITT, the talking car in the action series. The trailers, edited by Kinetic Post, Southfield, Mich., tout a website managed by WPP sibling Wunderman Team Detroit.
JWT Team Detroit's Curt Jaksen, group account director-brand content and alliances, said Ford has seen a significant amount of traffic to the site and said visitors are spending a lot of time there, though he declined to provide specifics.
Mr. Jaksen said Mustang's pre-launch effort is aimed at the car's enthusiasts, and indeed the site's content is packed with stories of people who love, or are even fanatical, about the car. "The strategy was to lead off with an outreach to enthusiasts and let them carry the message."
Carl Spresser, senior VP-director of integrated marketing and branded entertainment for JWT, said that "the project had an incredible return on investment" and was "within a budget that was significantly less than you'd expect for a project of this scope." He declined to reveal details.