Ford Final UEFA CL ‘Mustang Pre-Order Pop-Up’ Campaign

In the final season of its 22-year partnership with the UEFA Champions League, Ford used its rights around the Lisbon final to launch of its iconic Mustang car in Europe for the first time ever via a multi-platform campaign focusing on allowing the first customers a chance to pre-order the vehicle live during the 90-minute Real vs Atletico match.


The logistically complex, multi-phase campaign – developed with agency Blue Hive – spanned TV and cinema spot, print and outdoor ads, social channels, a digital experience at Ford.com and all of these components directed viewers to a pop-up shop offering the first 500 fans a chance to become the first European customers to pre-order a Mustang.


(Although these first European Mustang wont actually be delivered until 2015).


The central ‘The Road Awaits’ TV spot, which was directed by Filip Tellander and features a Mustang driving through empty European roads and passing iconic European buildings such as Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and Rome’s Coliseum.


The full 30-second ad aired only aired for the first time three days before the final on Thursday 22 May, but the campaign was teased and trailed in the days and weeks before the big match.


Initially, back in April, the first European creative (which was not directly linked to Ford’s UEFA sponsorship) was posted online in the form of a ’Mustang – 50 Years Of Evolution’ webfilm hosted on the car brand’s digital channels.



Then, a Champions League Final simple teaser spot featuring the vehicle parked in Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz was posted on 6 May.



This was backed up by a 10-second trailer for the core ‘The Road Awaits’ TV commercial which was posted on Ford Europe’s YouTube channel a few weeks before the final on 12 May,



followed by a further set of 20-second teaser cut-downs each featuring iconic landmarks and focusing on a major European city – such as Berlin,









and Paris.



The full ad 30-second ad then aired on network TV across Europe during half-time in the final itself.



The spots all drove viewers to the Mustang microsite where they could pre-order the vehicle for a limited period of 90 minutes during the final itself.


Ford set up a real time marketing command hub to produce social media content (within brand guidelines) around the final itself to generate buzz around the car, build awareness of the half-time advert and drive fans to the digital pop-up shop


The site also offered consumers a chance to explore other vehicle-led content strands site ranging from product details, vehicle history and Mustang facts to an earlier ad shot by Ranking and starring actress Sienna Miller.



‘We wanted to signal the arrival of an icon in Europe with something truly epic – the dream of the open road but retooled for a whole new continent,’ explains Blue Hive executive creative director Karin Onsager-Birch.


The campaign was written and art directed by the creative director Steve Clarke, while print art was directed by Vangelis Tolias and the print photographer was Uwe Düttmann.


The push was planned and bought by WPP’s Mindshare.




Ford reports that its campaign proved such a success that there was overwhelming pre-order demand for the car.


The 500 pre-registration limit was reached within the first 30-seconds of the pop-up opening and the brand recorded an attempted 9,300 pre-registrations ion total during the match.


Further evidence of campaign success comes in the form of the impressive two million YouTube views of the TV ad to date.


With such a response to the activation, Ford may come to regret the end of its long running UEFA Champions league association.


Earlier this year it was announced that Ford, partnering with the UEFA Champions League since its inception in 1992, was ending its sponsorship and was being replaced in UEFA’s automotive category slot by Nissan for the 2015 tournament.


Nissan will take up one of the precious eight UEFA Champions League centralised, global sponsorship spots from next season – joining Adidas (see case study), Gazprom, Heineken (see case study), HTC, MasterCard (see case study), Sony and UniCredit.


These brands all have category exclusivity and no competitor is able to activate or advertise on TV or in-stadium, or on any other platform associated with the competition (from Fan Fest areas to VIP spaces).


Among other assets and in addition to logo usage, each sponsor has four pitchside ad boards during matches, plus sponsor logos appear during all pre- and post-match interviews and in the VIP and press areas.




Ford UEFA CL YouTube



Ford Mustang Website



Ford UEFA CL Sponsorship Website



UEFA Champions League Website



Blue Hive Website



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