The Ford Vending Machine

Alibaba and Ford have signed a deal to build a vending machine for cars in Guangzhou, China. The vending machine has a capacity of 42 cars and allows prospective buyers to book a three-day test drive before they buy. All the prospective buyer needs to do is select the car model they’re interested in, put down a deposit electronically via the Tmall app, schedule a pickup time, and snap a selfie so that the vending machine can recognize them when they pick up the car for a test drive.

The intelligent car from Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has recently announced that all of its 2016 and 2017 vehicles in the US would now be able to connect with both Amazon and Google’s digital voice assistants.

With the help of this integration Mercedes owners can now instruct their Amazon Echo or Google Home to remotely start or lock their vehicles, as well as send addresses to their in-car navigation system. The video below however shows Mercedes-Benz creating an intelligent ecosystem around its cars with the help of cutting-edge technology.

Mercedes isn’t the first automaker to recognise the potential of artificially intelligent
third party digital voice assistants. At CES earlier this year, Ford unveiled its plan to roll out Alexa-equipped vehicles. Around the same time, Hyundai announced a new partnership with Google to add voice control through the Google Home.

Ford Escape Routes

Ford wanted to launch the new Escape in a way that would give folks something they had never experienced before in branded entertainment. So in an industry first, Ford took the small screen to the second screen by combining TV with social media and mini-gameplay to create the first prime time Social TV show: Escape Routes.

Six teams took on daredevil stunts while enlisting online fans as Virtual Teammates (VTMs), who’s real-time support, determined who crossed the finish line each week. The social media buzz around Escape Routes exceeded all expectations and benchmarks. There was a 1,033% increase in @FordEscape Twitter followers and 50% increase in Facebook Likes.

It’s old, but it smells like new

Ford Seleccion is the brand of used cars from Ford in Spain. Bassat Ogilvy Madrid, the agency responsible for marketing the cars was given the task of bringing the excitement of a new car to the old ones.

So the team set out to bring the ‘smell of a new car’ to those who chose to buy a used one. After all, you might be willing to sacrifice the new car itself, if the old one at least smelled like a new one. 😉

Once the smell of the new car was identified, it was taken and bottled into fragrance samplers called ‘Olor a Nuevo,’ which means ‘Smell of New’. With this fragrance the line of old cars that smelled exactly like the new ones was created and successfully advertised through print and outdoor ads.

Ford C-Max Augmented Reality

This is where Augmented Reality in advertising moves from a cool, branded desktop experience to a marker-less, educational interaction. This short film demonstrates how Ogilvy & Mather and digital production company Grand Visual in London have launched an augmented reality campaign featuring the new 7 seat Ford Grand C-MAX car on JCDecaux Innovate’s mall six-sheet screens at shopping centres in the UK.

The campaign allows users to interact with the car simply by holding their hands up to the screen. Virtual buttons allow the user to choose the colour of the car, open doors, fold the seats flat, turn the car 360 degrees and select demos of the car’s key features such as Active Park Assist.

This is the first outdoor augmented reality campaign to use 3D depth imaging technology in the UK. Rather than using a printed marker or symbol as a point of reference for interaction, the user interface is based on natural movement and hand gestures allowing any passerby to immediately start interacting with the screen content. A Panasonic D-Imager camera accurately measures the users real-time spatial depth output and Inition’s augmented reality software merges this real life footage with the 3D photo-real Grand C-MAX on screen.

The first pre-launch of a car using Twitter

Twitter is only just taking off in Agrentina and Wunderman Buenos Aires managed to convince Ford to do the pre-launch campaign on Twitter, with great success.

The idea was to give the most followed twitterer in Argentina, the one and only new Ford Fiesta available in the country, with the condition that he drive it for 5 straight days, tweeting about his experience. Now, that’s nothing new, but they managed to twist that strategy a little by getting some of the most famous TV stars to jump in the car and tweet mini interviews while being driven around in the new car. And after just 5 days, the campaign had reached over 200,000 people, that’s 50% of all twitter users in Argentina!