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Ford's store, company employees will buzz about Bowl spot

DETROIT -- Just before the Super Bowl kicks off Sunday, Ford will run a 90-second spot featuring the Ford Fusion Hybrid. But the spot itself is only a small part of the story, said Jim Farley, Ford's social-media-savvy marketing chief.

Ford is encouraging its more than 3,000 dealerships and their employees and Ford company employees to help create a buzz before the game and sustain it for several weeks after.

Farley is counting on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be the conduits for the message. Most of Ford's regional dealer ad groups have bought spots during the game. Those spots will feature elements of the same creative as the main brand spot, Farley said. Ford created the campaign in conjunction with its Team Detroit ad agency.

This is how it will work: Ford sent teasers of its Super Bowl spot to all dealership employees, encouraging them to forward the teasers to friends before the game. The teasers alerted recipients to watch the 90-second spot, which will air between the coin toss and the kickoff. The spot will feature a couple of TV personalities: comedian Rob Riggle, formerly of "The Daily Show" and "Saturday Night Live," and actor James Franco, who starred in such films as Pineapple Express and 127 Hours.

The teasers feature vignettes that encourage recipients to click and "Tune in Feb. 2 to learn the meaning behind #nearlydouble."

"If we have 3,000-plus dealers and there are 100 employees in each dealership, that's 300,000 employees working in dealerships," said Farley in an interview today. "If everyone has 100 friends on Facebook, that's 30 million people. This is not just a program to expose our ad to dealer employees and be nice. We get almost Super Bowl scale by sending it to employees.

"When employees get the teasers, we want them to share that. Once we get in the game we know there are going to be fumbles and scores; we're going to have a group of people engaging everyone digitally through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter," Farley said.

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Below is just a snipped of the commercial:
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