Case Study: Ford Mustang's launch on Instagram

Case Study: Ford Mustang's launch on Instagram

In preparation for the launch of the 2014 Mustang, Ford rolled out a nation-wide campaign to create buzz leading up to its International launch. As part of campaign, Ford enlisted the creative services of 15 Instagram Influencers to create 15 second videos on how #MustangInspires. They then took the top 5 videos and rolled them into a nation-wide commercial to create buzz for the launch. The Mustang was unveiled at the same time all over the world, including on the Today Show, and several domestic & international cities. In order to add social momentum to the actual launch, Ford flew these Influencers to the city of their choice to capture the unveiling. Lets breakdown what they did right and what they got wrong.

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What they got right:

  1. Leveraged Content Off-Platform – Instagram is the perfect platform to tap into talented photographers & generate high quality content not only or Instagram but for other ad venues (e.g. OOH, Print, TV, Digital). Ford did an excellent job of utilizing content in an off-platform way.
  2. Buzz Creation - Creating buzz on a product without showing it can be challenging, but the #MustangInspires video evoked great emotion about the brand & increased excitement for the launch. Instagram is a great branding/storytelling platform –it doesn’t always have to be product-centric.
  3. Closing the Loop: To tell an effective story, you should ensure that you finish it. By utilizing Influencers pre-launch & inviting them to capture the product unveiling they were able to tell a great story and give the Influencer’s audience access to a special event. Approaching the platform this way leads to deeper engagement with a fan base.

What they missed:

  • 1.Top Categories - Travel is one of the largest categories on Instagram. Ford didn’t ask Influencers to utilize #MustangInspires or tag @Ford in any posts during their trip. In the photo below, notice the example Influencer received 15k likes on a photo during her trip. That could have been great exposure for the brand.
  • 2.Right Influencer Fit - Understanding what gets good engagement on influencers feeds is important when selecting a partner. Notice the example influencer typically gets 12k-20k likes per photo, whereas her ford shot only go 5k. Then take a look at her account, this isn’t the most natural photography for her which is why her followers likely didn’t respond.
  • 3.Leveraging Instagram Video: Although these Influencers created videos on how #MustangInspiries, they didn’t post them to their account. Depending on the content, it may not be an appropriate fit so that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, Ford didn’t post the videos to their account either. Instead, you can find part of them on YouTube.
  • 4.Community – The community on Instagram is incredibly strong. By sending Influencers who know each other to the same premier, Ford certainly would have received more posts & engagement. It’s always more fun to attend an event with a friend than alone and we’ve found that this usually means more photos.

Ford did a great job pushing the creativity portion of Instagram advertising, but a few quick tweaks and we estimate they could have doubled their engagement from 80k to 160k likes. Partnering with The Social Standard is a great way to ensure these impactful details aren’t missed.