Ford to Launch Cablevision VOD Campaign

New York Metro Effort Follows GM's Move Into New Advertising Format

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DEARBORN, Mich. (AdAge.com) -- Ford Motor Co. kicks off its first video-on-demand entertainment and marketing campaign later this month for its Ford Division in a deal with Cablevision Systems Corp. covering the metropolitan New York area.

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The automaker said the goal of the regional VOD blitz is to attract new customers. It spotlights features of the all-new Ford Fusion sedan and redone Explorer sport utility.

Competitive edge
The marketer bought an undisclosed significant chunk of Cablevision's Optimum Autos interactive inventory, which it expects will provide a competitive edge against rivals.

But Ford is late to the VOD arena compared to cross-town rival General Motors Corp., which started testing the long-form format in 2003. Ford has struggled mightily in 2005 in its crucial home market, posting a loss of more than $2 billion in North America in the first nine months of 2005 vs. a pretax profit of almost $1.8 billion a year ago. Ford said it will announce a restructuring plan in early January.

Ford brand's agency, WPP Group's JWT Detroit, created informational videos about the vehicles, as well as setting out to be entertaining. The digital Ford Fusion area will also contain a mini-site with almost 30 minutes about Norwegian band Hurra Torpedo. The Explorer's content covers the annual, amateur "Ironman" competition, offering consumers the chance to win a trip to the event in Kona, Hawaii.

Proprietary metrics
Co-branded Ford-Optimum Autos ad banners will appear on various Cablevision channels to drive traffic. Barry Frey, senior VP-sales of Cablevision, said Optimum Autos is offering Ford proprietary metrics from the campaign.

Brian Bos, convergence director, JWT Detroit, said "our goal is to offer a breadth of content that is both informative, entertaining and will help Ford reach out to a broader audience for both of these vehicles."

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