New F-150 Campaign Drives Surfers To Ford Site

Last week for web users was all about weird plants, the US Open and, partially thanks to a huge advertising push, the new Ford F-150.

According to Nielsen NetRatings. spiked 78% to 477,000 unique visitors at home, for the week ending September 7, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. Surfers, comprising of more than 76 percent of the site's traffic, logged on to view a photo gallery of "Weird Plants."

In turn, traffic to the US Open jumped 33%, at home, for the week ending September 7 as the 2003 tournament drew to a close last Sunday. The site drew 319,000 unique fans with 32% of the visitors checking the real-time scoreboard.

The big story, however, is Ford. The Automaker recently kicked off its $200 million ad campaign for the new Ford truck, and while many advertisers agree that site traffic isn't a good measure of campaign success (sales are), the numbers are impressive.

"Ford has effectively used the Web with its online advertising campaigns and a resourceful website to promote the vehicle online," said Greg Bloom, senior Internet analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. "Although it's not one of the top advertised products by Ford, as the F-Series, Expedition, Explorer, Ranger and Focus had more impressions during the same four-week period, the growth indicates Ford is aggressively promoting the new F-150 on the Internet."

Traffic from home to Ford jumped 72% to 842,000 unique visitors, as compared to 489,000 visitors during the previous week. Falling below Nielsen//NetRatings reporting levels during the previous week, the site attracted 700,000 unique visitors from work during the week ending September 7. Top pages from both home and from work revealed that surfers were flocking to pages containing information about the 2004 F-150 truck.

Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance data revealed that the increase in Web traffic corresponded with the launch of Ford's ad campaign for the F-150 truck. During the last four weeks, the Ford F-150 had the fastest growing advertising impressions among the Ford products. Online ad impressions grew 16,550% from 2,000 impressions during the week ending August 10 to 333,000 impressions during the week ending August 31. Nielsen//NetRatings also reported that the Ford F-Series line was the most heavily advertised Ford product line online during this period.

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