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Ford partners with Yahoo! to market its electric car online rather than using traditional advertising due to 'uncertainty' over consumer demand


By The Drum Team | Editorial

April 11, 2012 | 2 min read

Ford Motor Company will market its electric car through digital media, rather than using traditional advertising means due to uncertainty over the demand, it has been reported.

Bloomberg quotes Ford’s general manager John Felice as having said that the company is aiming to be flexible as it markets the Focus Electric through a reality TV programme called ‘Plugged In’ which will be broadcast online by Yahoo! Screen or

“Because of the lack of awareness out there, people aren’t sure what kind of car they want,” Felice said. “Electric is going to grow, but we’re not sure what the consumer is going to want, so we have to be flexible,” said Felice.

He added: “Ford is making electric versions of models it already produces, such as the Focus, with plans to triple output of hybrids and electric vehicles to more than 100,000 in 2013. Introducing a new electric or hybrid model would mean devoting a plant and marketing outlays to establish the new vehicle, something the company isn’t ready to do until demand is clearer.”

10 episodes of the programme has been commissioned, aiming to educate consumers how to use an electric car, and will feature the Focus.

In statement announcing the programme, Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. Marketing Communications for Ford, said: "Ford is launching the Focus Electric on Yahoo!, once again recognizing the power and reach of the Web as we continue to rely more on digital media. The electric vehicle market will grow over time, so we electrified our popular small-car platform with a targeted online campaign instead of creating a one-off vehicle with huge ad budgets.

The campaign to promote Plugged In will also aim to drive traffic to Ford’s electric vehicle website that includes a feature which allows consumers to describe their driving habits to match the best electrified vehicle technology to suit them.

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