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Ford to follow-up on its TV interactive ‘first’

A UK TV first was witnessed over the Easter Bank Holiday when Ford launched an interactive advertising campaign for the new Focus estate.

The carmaker showed its latest advert at peak evening viewing times and gave viewers the chance to win a new Focus estate by answering a simple question and responding by phone, text or by the red button on the digital TV handset. ITV has confirmed it as a first for UK television.

Ford says the aim was to raise product awareness among family audiences, and gather customer data and potential sales leads for its dealers to follow up. The medium car sector now accounts for 38% of its sales.

“We are delighted to be at the forefront of pioneering advertising with the new Ford Focus,” says Steve Hood, Ford of Britain marketing director.

This represents the latest instalment in Ford’s campaign to promote the new Focus. At launch in January of this year, the three- and five-door hatchbacks were pushed. Now the estate’s campaign is under way, promoting the four-door saloon will begin later this month.

A Ford spokesman hints that a General Election-themed series of ads will be run soon, but couldn’t confirm a repeat of the interactive format.

“As the results are evaluated we would not rule it out for the future, but these kind of adverts only work over a bank holiday weekend when you can build up some momentum and you have the whole family watching,” he says.

A viewer from Oldham was picked at random to win the Easter Bank Holiday Focus. At Christmas, Honda block-booked entire advertising breaks to run its series of ‘Cog’ and ‘Everyday’ adverts.

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