Ford: 360 VR Experience


Campaign Summary

To meet a growing desire among auto shoppers for richer ways to research vehicles online, Ford offered them a 360-degree virtual experience with its 2018 Expedition SUV.


Objective and Context:

Ford’s consumer research uncovered a growing desire to conduct online vehicle-research before visiting a dealership, with a particular appetite for video content. Specifically, Ford determined that:

  • 84 percent of shoppers plan to watch auto videos when they start shopping for a new car. These consumers found that shopping for their next vehicle via video walk-arounds, test-drives, and owner overviews was as useful as visiting the original equipment manufacturer’s site. 
  • More than half of consumers expected to experience a vehicle online prior to visiting a dealer, and the more they could immerse themselves in a product online, the more excited they would be in visiting a dealer on their own.

These findings inspired Ford to capitalize on 360-degree video technology to develop a new way for shoppers to experience its 2018 Expedition SUV online.

Target Audience:

Ford’s target audience was people shopping for its 2018 Expedition. 

Creative Strategy:

Ford capitalized on 360-degree video technology to stoke interest in its 2018 Expedition in a variety of ways. For instance, the Ford team created a 360-degree VR video feature that resided on and allowed shoppers to educate themselves about the vehicle, explore each of its three rows, and virtually test drive it from their couches. In addition, “hotspots” in the content allowed users to access additional information on amenities. The site wasn’t the only place where shoppers could access such material. The brand provided related content on YouTube, taking advantage of the platform’s new 360-degree pre-roll TrueView ad units.

Ford thus gave shoppers an immersive virtual experience with the Expedition, allowing them to see how much more spacious and well-appointed the Expedition was compared with competitors such as the Tahoe and Suburban. The brand hoped to thereby encourage these shoppers to examine the Expedition in person at their local dealers.


Overall Campaign Execution:

With support for HTTP Live Streaming video and variable bitrates optimally adjusted for each device and user bandwidth measurements, Ford established a platform that was effective in delivering 360-degree video playback, user-controlled 360-degree stills, and real-time 3D and motion tracking — all on the site.

Mobile Execution:

By creating this new platform for its product story-telling, Ford was able to place the consumer inside the product and let them explore it in its entirety — right from his or her mobile device. The campaign’s media spend reflected this mobile-first mentality, allocating over 90 percent of the budget to the channel.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Ford was pleased with the campaign’s ability to engage consumers. The brand found that shoppers who interacted with the VR feature on its website were twice as likely to undertake additional research about the vehicle. Moreover, 50 percent of users accessed digital features that provided further information about the vehicle’s amenities.

Categories: AR/VR | Industries: Automotive - Technology | Objectives: AR/VR | Awards: NA Silver Winner