Ford Illustrates the Future of Mobility Via Group VR
Ford has long been recognized as a leading global automotive brand, but in today’s fast-changing world, it needed to drive consumer awareness of its cutting-edge mobility innovations in the form of apps, ride sharing, autonomous vehicles and electric cars. Ford’s multi-person Future Mobility VR activation engaged attendees at the North American International Auto Show on a journey of discovery into these innovations. The experience achieved positive impact in brand opinion and purchase likelihood, excitement and engagement, and positioned Ford as a tech brand with a mobility vision.
In the fast-growing megacities of today there is little need, or even room, for cars, a challenge that Ford has stepped up to by developing smarter ways to move and more technologically connected human experiences. Ford’s Future Mobility VR engagement at NAIAS communicated that message in a way that was dramatic yet easy to understand in a short period of time and delivered a “wow” experience that stood out from the competition.
Ford had already created a 2D animation view of a future city. The Future Mobility experience ported that world into a VR engagement that told Ford mobility stories via a high-tech platform that created emotional moments and remained true to brand. It began with a warm and welcoming voiceover and a realistic model of the Ford experience at the Detroit Auto Show. As visitors settled into the 12 chairs and put on their headsets, they experienced a VR immersion into the physical stand modeled around them, which oriented them. Each chair had a unique point of view for the flight, and the sound was binaural, creating a 3D stereo sound sensation that contributed to the experience.
The premise of the activation involved a giant drone that “lifted” participants into the air to experience a flight through the city of the future, hovering and focusing in on various storytelling moments along the way. One story centered on two friends who share a lease on a Ford vehicle and manage their time using their FordPass app. In another, a man parked using pre-booking and autonomous vehicle technology. A third story highlighted Ford’s ride-sharing and ride-hailing services, and a fourth showcased what cars look like without a driver holding the steering wheel. Between the stories a scripted flight took the riders up the sides of skyscrapers and on thrilling dives down the other side, twisting and turning through parks and zooming along streets.
Carefully calibrated sound, vision and movement delivered a hyper-real experience and real-world results. Ninety-one percent of visitors got the message of Ford’s commitment to the future of mobility, and more than 9,000 went along for the ride.