Ford launches Pandora campaign featuring Jewel, John Legend

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Bad news for radio: Ford announced a new campaign on personal internet radio leader Pandora to show consumers what’s possible when content, technology and worthy causes come together. The two joined up at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) MIXX Conference and Expo in New York to share the details of the new Q4 digital campaign that allows Pandora visitors to use the social share feature to share a “mixtape” from playlists compiled by either Jewel or John Legend. When a song is shared, Ford and Pandora will make a donation to the artist’s charity of choice.


This latest Ford campaign on Pandora is part of a larger trend at Ford to shift its digital marketing strategy away from using primarily company-generated advertising that interrupts – the banner ad – to marketing that embraces and engages digital content creators to help tell the Ford story. It also builds on the company’s multipronged relationship with Pandora, which has more than 60 million registered users. Earlier this year, Ford announced Pandora would be more seamlessly integrated into the Ford SYNC experience through AppLink, a software program that allows owners to access and control selected smartphone apps, such as Pandora, through SYNC voice commands.

Ford says similar SYNC digital campaigns have shown great purchase consideration power, tripling unaided SYNC recall among listeners. “We’ve found the most valuable digital marketing doesn’t interrupt the user experience but instead complements it,” said Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. Marketing Communications, Ford, and a speaker at the IAB conference. “By partnering with content creators, we’re able to support niche programs that audiences truly enjoy. That helps Ford spend its marketing dollars more wisely, while creating user-advocates, rather than just bombarding potential customers with banner ads and 30-second spots.”
Featuring Jewel and John Legend, the new Ford campaign on Pandora seamlessly incorporates original video content and radio station mix options that let listeners broaden their music library while benefiting worthwhile causes in the process.  Jewel’s song sharing will benefit the National Breast Cancer Foundation, while Legend listeners help out the Show Me Campaign, a nonprofit organization promoting equal access to quality education.

RBR-TVBR observation: No doubt this will be a topic of discussion this week at the NAB-RAB Radio Show. But no matter how you look at it, all autos will be rolling out someday with internet in the dash and we will have more competition than ever. Pandora is just the beginning (too bad our costs are so unfairly aligned with internet-only broadcasters such as Pandora). Local radio can and will be accessed through that dashboard user interface, as well as via AM and FM signals. The goal, as it always has been, is to create the localism and compelling content that an intelligent internet jukebox can’t.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.