Ford Motor Co. is promoting its 2017 Ford Escape in what it is calling the “first-ever drivable game.”
The automaker teamed with puzzle master Victor Blake to design the world’s first Escape the Room drive experience, integrating technology from the new SUV in a creative plot that will have players discovering a whole new side of New York State. Participants will use the technology and features of the 2017 Ford Escape to figure out clues and solve puzzles.
Selling out in less than 24 hours, the immersive group gaming experience has more than 1,000 players signed up to play June 23-26 at Moynihan Station in New York City. The 35,000-square-foot venue is more than half the size of a professional football field. The game was designed in collaboration with New York State’s “I Love New York” campaign. Players will attempt to escape multiple rooms.
Ford is aiming to connect with Millennial buyers by leveraging the experience economy trend to transform a typical test drive into something culturally relevant for the younger consumer, says Ginger Kasanic, Ford experiential marketing manager.
“We wanted to grab the imagination and connect with Millennial and urban consumers in New York City, but, given the trend of experiential game play and the appetite for unique shared experiences, the opportunity to expand to other cities is possible,” Kasanic tells Marketing Daily.
Some of the in-vehicle technologies integrated into the game include: digital music and streaming radio from iHeartRadio via Sync AppLink, voice-to-text capabilities of Sync 3 driver connect system, remote start and remote lock capabilities of Sync Connect, via FordPass, premium audio system from Sony with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics, enhanced active park assist, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, rear-view camera, seven-color ambient lighting and hands-free, foot-activated lift gate.
“It’s becoming more of a challenge to grab attention with traditional advertising, especially with Millennial consumers,” Kasanic says. “We have to present our brand, products and great technologies in an immersive, culturally relevant way, or we’re not going to connect.”
Players are sworn to secrecy to ensure that the game is fresh for everyone and nobody has an advantage.Throughout the game, players will discover a whole new side of New York State, and themselves. Although pre-registration is sold out, walk-in spots will be available each day.