The Colombian rock artist will be the voice and face behind Ford's creative campaign targeting Generation Y.
The campaign, via Zubi Advertising, Miami, comprises broadcast, print and online ads and two Web sites and uses the slogan "Sync. At your command" ("Sync. A tus ordenes").
While the general-market advertising for Sync has featured the Ford Edge crossover, the Hispanic-market effort for the technology will initially center on the 2008 Focus, which goes on sale this quarter.
"We know the Hispanic market has high adoption and usage rates for technology, music, downloads, ringtones and the Internet in general," says Dave Rodriguez, multicultural marketing communications manager for Ford Motor Co. "In many cases, from a percentage standpoint, growth is outpacing the general market."
He says the target is early 20s to mid-40s. "Sync has broad appeal, though the primary target will be younger Hispanics. But we try to keep a very broad aperture, if you will."
The timing is serendipitous, according to Rodriguez--because Juanes is premiering his fourth album, "La Vida? Es un Ratico," and beginning a world tour just as Ford is rolling out both the new technology and a redesign of its compact sedan. "One of the great appeals connecting to him at this point was that the stars are lining up, with his album release and the launch this quarter of Sync and the 2008 Ford Focus."
Andres Ordonez, vice president/creative director at the Miami-based Zubi, says that the Spanish-language TV creative revolves around four different scenes that use Juanes as a metaphor for Sync. He says Zubi will then separate those four stories into webisodes on SyncJuanes.com.
He says the creative shows how Sync lets consumers use the power of their voice to order up music or communications. Ordonez says that the ads make Juanes a metaphor for Sync: in one a fan asks him to play a song as if he were an embodiment of Sync.
Part of the effort launches in a couple of weeks, and another element when the tour begins.
Rodriguez says much of the focus next year will migrate to the web at syncatusordenes.com, with a second microsite launching next year. "This campaign is not necessarily the standard 'let's sponsor a concert'," he says. "Juanes is very much part of the creative messaging, and a lot of that is going to live online because that's where the consumer is going." He adds that the Sync/Juanes microsite launching in 2008 will support the tour and include a sweepstakes effort.
Ordonez says that Ford will have Sync signage, kiosks, and other interactive elements at Juanes concerts.
Furthermore, Ford is putting billboards in high pedestrian-traffic areas that, when triggered by a motion detector, will "speak" to passersby about Sync in Juanes' voice. The artist will also introduce Sync at private events in Los Angeles and Houston later in 2007, with the campaign running into 2008.
Sync allows in-car voice activation of phone and MP3 players. The device can also read text messages from properly equipped phones. Sync's voice recognition system has settings for English, Spanish and French.