The Ford Mustang has been a staple of American history since the original was released in 1962. Since then, Ford has release six different generations of the Mustang for consumers and has been involved in the racing world from being a pace car for the Indianapolis 500 to drag racing, sports car racing, stock car racing and drifting.
To most consumers, the Mustang has always been associated with masculinity. However, in 2015, with the release of the sixth generation Mustang, Ford sought to change this with their Valentine’s Day social media marketing campaign titled “Mustang Speed Dating”.
The timing of this campaign could have have been better for Ford as in 2015, the demographics of the auto industry buyers were rapidly shifting and female buyers represented 53% as the majority for the first time ever.
Enter Mustang Speed Dating. The strategy behind this campaign was to show a woman ‘speed dating’ (a play on words for Millennials who are used to speed dating through social media apps) with bachelors by enticing them into a new Mustang and then having the woman showcase her professional stunt driving skills. This campaign achieved two key results by doing this: (1) They changed the myth that women are bad drivers by instead presenting a skilled woman pranking men in their own comfort space of a car. (2) Communicate that Ford’s brand is just as much for women as it is for men. This campaign empowered women to blow away expectations and stereotypes that men hold of them with regards to muscle cars.
The results of this campaign were nothing short of incredible. The pure message of the campaign appealed to both men who were interested in seeing the new car and seeing it driven deftly, and women who were interested in seeing a powerful women turning a stereotype on its head. The videos went viral on YouTube garnering 13.7M views and became the second most viewed YouTube video among US auto companies. In addition to pure views, sentiment analysis showed that the content was viewed positively by both women and men.
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