Ford Trades Test Drives for School Donations
They say that marketing is at its best when it matches a market need with a timely solution. Ford did it several times over with its Drive 4 UR School program that paired local dealerships with local high schools to trade test drives for much-needed donations.
The philanthropic program, deemed one of the most successful test-drive programs in Ford’s history, helped buck perceptions about intimidating car-buying experiences while giving Ford’s local dealers meaningful face-time with high schoolers and their parents. Not only did every one of the program’s 187,000 test drives drop $20 in a local school’s extracurricular account (totaling more than $4 million in donations), it helped Ford exceed every one of its KPIs. According to one dealer, “This event helped to achieve our dealership goals.”
Dealerships were given event kits filled with promotional materials and giveaways, plus access to a website offering an event-planning guide, a p.r. toolkit and other tips and ideas. High school representatives worked together with local dealers to plan their one-day test-drive event. A centralized Program Headquarters was staffed with Ford facilitators who provided the day-to-day resources needed to host a successful activation.
The program really revved up local dealerships, driving a 19 percentage-point lift in favorable opinion and boosting the conversion rate from test drive to purchase to 1.39 percent.