Ford Parks Pink Cars for Susan G. Komen Races - Event Marketer

Ford Parks Pink Cars for Susan G. Komen Races

DB_Ford_2008 Ex
Brand: FORD
Agency: TEAM DETROIT
Awards: EX AWARDS — BEST ACTIVATION OF A CAUSE SPONSORSHIP/COMMUNITY TIE-IN
Year: 2008

The color pink has never looked so hot thanks to Ford, a national series sponsor of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for 14 years, and its Warriors in Pink campaign. The campaign, which launched its second season last October with breast cancer awareness month, is the broadest breast cancer awareness initiative for Ford, which throughout the years has donated more than $90 million in cash and in-kind donations to the cause.

Ford maintains a presence at each of the 117 races in the series with branded tents, flags, banners and, of course, Ford vehicles. Many races feature Warriors in Pink-branded pace cars. A Ford scarf, distributed at events, is a coveted collector’s item. But according to Crystal Greene, manager of sponsorships and alliances for Ford, “Nothing really compares to the race effect, the solidarity, the fight in everybody—men, women and children. We wanted to take that community and spread it to the national stage.”

Despite a challenging business environment, Warriors in Pink last year fired on all cylinders. “The Warriors in Pink team has grown,” Greene says. “We’re really proud of the program and hope that consumers understand, in addition to our quality and smart products, the heart of Ford as well.”

An all-new men’s and women’s apparel and accessories collection, designed with symbols of hope, strength and unity in the commitment to the fight, were sold on fordcares.com, with 100 percent of net proceeds, upwards of $500,000 going to Komen. Ford also launched the first vehicle designed to support the cause, a 2008 Warriors in Pink Mustang. Produced in a limited edition of 2,500 units, the vehicle was available for order through local Ford dealers across the country, with $250 from the sale of each car going directly to the Komen organization.

But it didn’t stop there. Two-time Grammy and  “American Idol” winner Kelly Clarkson was the face of the campaign. She and celebrities Toby Keith, David Arquette, and the casts of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “The Young and the Restless” and “General Hospital” signed and decorated limited-edition 1/18th scale models of the Warriors in Pink Mustang which were auctioned during October on eBay, with all proceeds benefiting the organization. Ford also partnered with NBC’s “Deal or No Deal” in a special episode that aired on Oct. 19 that also had the models wearing Warriors in Pink apparel and scarves in print ads. Warriors in Pink also created a MySpace profile page, launching an online community of Warriors. Ford worked with Essence magazine to create a Warriors in Pink microsite on essence.com and through local Susan G. Komen affiliates launched a Hispanic outreach campaign.

By any measure Ford is looking pretty in pink. The campaign drove 810,000 visits to fordcares.com, more than half of the 2008 allocation of Mustangs were ordered by December and 52 percent of race attendees indicated a more favorable opinion of the Ford brand. Total media impressions topped 500 million.

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