Imagination Caps Off Ford's Auto Show Season at the 2010 New York International Auto Show


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SEE ALSO: Ford Buyers Guide

NEW YORK, March 31, 2010; Imagination, the global brand communications agency, has created an unprecedented array of interactive hands-on, virtual and digital experiences to engage visitors with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles, as well as the newest innovations at the New York International Auto Show. The show, opening to the public on Friday, April 2, 2010, is the culmination of the 2009-2010 auto show season, and where Ford will showcase its all-new exclusive MyFord Touch technology, which brings seamless connectivity into the vehicle. The New York Auto Show will also mark the world premier of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.

"The New York show represents the season's grand finale in hands-on experiences that we've designed to help visitors better understand Ford's offerings in an intuitive way," said Paul Martin, Imagination's Creative Lead for Ford in The Americas. "The synergy between what consumers engage with here and Ford's latest innovations is clearly brought to life through live experiences and interactive displays that showcase new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products and technologies."

In order to bring visitors closer to Ford's industry-leading interactive driver connect smart technology, Imagination, Ford's global auto show experience partner, has designed dozens of hands-on, interactive museum-style exhibits to engage visitors. The innovative experiences showcase specific vehicle features and technology by allowing visitors to explore actual components of the new offerings, play games and engage in interactive demonstrations.

"Today, people want to experience a brand's qualities first-hand and judge innovations for themselves," said Matt O'Mara, General Manager of Imagination. "Rather than simply tell visitors about how Ford vehicles outpace the competition, we focused on letting visitors experience the Ford advantages in real-time."

Each of the exhibits is designed to help visitors better understand the design, technology and construction of Ford's vehicles, as well as create experiences that allow consumers to spend time with the Ford brand in a fun and engaging way.

For instance, to highlight the automaker's personalized, interactive driver connect touch screen MyLincoln Touch technology system and the all new Lincoln MKZ hybrid and Lincoln MKX, similar touch technology is used to create the most advanced multi-touch table ever used in an auto show. A "photo studio"-inspired environment also allows visitors to engage with the all-new 2011 Edge in an environment where they can personalize their experience of the vehicle and the technology.

  Other interactive highlights at the show include:

  --  Drive One Lab - A "Mr. Science"-type display in which a live presenter
      helps visitors learn how Ford is driving the future of vehicle
      electrification with hands-on demonstrations and explanations of
      hybrid vehicles, battery-electric vehicles and related technology.
  --  Fiesta Movement Live - A live, presenter-led interaction that allows
      visitors to vote and play a simple text-based trivia game to win
      prizes using their mobiles phones.
  --  Edge Challenge - A mobile-phone-based game that uses graphics and
      photos to help visitors learn about Edge's style and technology
      leadership as they compete.
  --  Control Blade Challenge - An exhibit where visitors get a taste of the
      addictive driving experience offered by The Next Generation Ford Focus
      by using a "surfboard" to control their car in virtual 3D.
  --  Drive Green Vehicle Selector - An interactive "calculator" that asks
      visitors to answer a few questions and provides suggestions from
      Ford's full line-up of green vehicle choices that fit every lifestyle.
  --  EcoBoost Robots - A live presenter works with factory robots to help
      explain Ford's clean, green power technology.
  --  Mustang Mania - A simple, fast-paced graphic-driven trivia game where
      two contestants "buzz-in" to answer questions about the all-new
      fuel-efficient pony cars and win BP gift cards.
  --  Gas & Diesel Truck Powertrain - A multi-faceted experience that
      features cutaway components and interactive exhibits like an arm
      wrestling challenge using a mechanical arm wrestling game to
      demonstrate the importance of engine torque.
  --  Transit Connect Challenge - A fast-paced game in which contestants win
      prizes by loading boxes into an actual Transit Connect to demonstrate
      its surprising cargo capacity.

"In keeping with our auto show strategy, we focused on providing variety that speaks to a diverse audience and varied mindset, while maintaining continuity throughout the Ford presence," said Andrew Horberry, Strategy Director for Imagination. "New York in particular has a highly discerning audience, and it was important for us to maintain a high level of interaction and engagement throughout the environment."

Added O'Mara, "Driving traffic and sales to dealers is a critical part of our task. With that in mind, many of the experiences at the show allow visitors to opt-in, establish a dialog and be connected to Ford and/or local dealers."

"As the last show of the season, this is an important place for Ford to deeply engage our customers and an opportunity for us to reward visitors with entertaining and richly informative experiences," said Darrell Bryja, Ford's head of Global Auto Shows. "Auto shows are proven to be an efficient and effective way for us to reach Ford's diverse audiences. We invest in this unique brand communication channel because we can see the powerful return on our investment."

About Imagination

Launched in 1968, Imagination is a global brand communications agency whose roots lie in non-traditional, live, experiential marketing. Imagination now has 12 offices around the world, and the full complement of specialists in-house, from brand consultants to architects, advertising specialists to interior designers, retail specialists and event producers to direct marketers and digital experts. This unique offering enables Imagination to approach every problem from broader and more unanticipated angles, build solutions from the ground up across all channels, and deliver insights aligned with the way people wish to interact with brands - not only face-to-face but in all mediums. Imagination's clients include Aston Martin, Guinness, oneworld Alliance, Disney, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and Shell. For more information, go to www.imagination.com.

SEE ALSO: Ford Buyers Guide

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