Ford Marketing Genius – Test Drives For Charity

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We’re often accused of bashing Ford Motor Company here at TundraHeadquarters, but let’s be clear – Ford is a solid company. We predicted Ford stock would go up this year (so far it has…big time). We’ve always said the F150 was a good truck in both of our Tundra vs F150 comparisons, and despite our recent lambasting of Ford’s SFE F150, we’re usually on board with every marketing move Ford makes.

Ford Marketing Genius - $20 Test Drives for Cancer

Ford Marketing Genius - $20 Test Drives for Cancer

The latest move – offering to make a $20 donation to the Susan G. Koman foundation for each person that test drives a Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury product between now and July 1st – is unadulterated genius.

Test drive incentives have been around for a long time, but they’re never really been that effective. Offering “select consumers” a $50 gift card to test drive a new car is problematic. First of all, which consumers do you select? Do you give the $50 gift card to people who are current owners? If so, you’ll end up paying people to do something they were going to do anyways. Do you give them to people who weren’t going to consider your product? At best, they’ll walk away from a drive begrudgingly admitting that your vehicle is nice before buying a competitor’s product. At worst, these naysayers will use the $50 gift card as proof that your vehicle is so bad, you need help just to get people to test drive!

This promotion, however, is PERFECT. Now people have a reason to drive a new Ford that doesn’t play to their pre-conceptions, and the marketing folks don’t have to feel bad about incentivizing people to do something they were going to do already…because the money goes to a good cause.

Oh yeah – did we mention that a charity benefits here? Susan G. Komen For the Cure is the biggest winner of all…but Ford’s sales will come in second.

Smart Ford – very smart. Toyota, if you’re listening, hurry up and double Ford’s offer of $20 per test drive. It’s a win-win.

Filed Under: Auto News


RSSComments (4)

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  1. TXTee says:

    I guess it’s cool but I’m not going to test drive it just because of that. Maybe I’ll do it this weekend if I’m bored just to see what feels different from previous F-150s and F-250s I’ve driven but I already know I’m walking into the dealership NOT to purchase.

  2. Fair enough. It won’t get me moving either, but I’m not in the market for a Ford. Still, if someone is in the market and they were on the fence about checking out the only American car company that WON’T be filing for bankruptcy, Ford is probably on the list now.

  3. DrBundy says:

    I can stay home, go to the Komen website, click donate, and send a $20 or $200 or $2000 donation all without putting my shoes on and dealing with a sales weasel. Kudos to Ford for being charitable (and for writing off the donations…smart when times are tough), but I’m not so sure how many *more* people than normal are going to test drive a vehicle just because of this.

  4. DrBundy – True. I still think that this will give Ford a boost, but you make a good point.

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