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2011 Ford Explorer Attracts Record Car Shoppers With Facebook Unveiling

August 24, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO — Jumpstart Automotive Group says Ford Motor Company's recent Facebook unveiling of its 2011 Ford Explorer scored big with in-market car shoppers, spurring a 104 percent increase in the number of visitors to the automotive media and marketing organization's Ford Explorer pages.

Typically reserved for auto shows or major industry events, the reveal on July 26 – which was held exclusively on Facebook, a first for the auto industry – more than doubled the daily users researching the Ford Explorer across Jumpstart's online automotive shopping and enthusiast properties, compared to the average daily usage for the month.

The Explorer rounded out that week with successive daily improvements in usage (compared to the monthly average) of 66 percent, 25 percent, 13 percent and eight percent by Friday, July 30, 2010. 

The Explorer's growth in shopping and engagement during the Facebook reveal also led to it capturing greater share of SUV shoppers across Jumpstart's properties consisting of 13 popular automotive shopping and enthusiast websites that include Vehix, Consumer Guide Automotive, JD Power Autos, Shopping.com Autos, Car and Driver, Road & Track, CarSoup.com, U.S.News.com, CarGurus and TrueCar. Ford’s share of SUV shoppers grew by 52 percent on the day of the unveiling to become the most researched SUV.

"Ford took its digital media prowess to another level when it unveiled the Explorer on Facebook – a first for any vehicle reveal," said Joe Kyriakoza, vice president of marketing communications at Jumpstart. "Not only did the campaign demonstrate Ford's confidence in social media to get its message across, it proved extremely successful in encouraging a high volume of in-market shoppers to consider Explorer."

Kyriakoza says that after trailing the Jeep Grand Cherokee – which also recently launched a new design for 2011 – for most of July, Explorer soared ahead of it and the rest of the competition for the remainder of the month. 

The Ford Explorer Facebook reveal outperformed the shopping increases that automakers experienced with Jumpstart's Websites the day after running 30-second Super Bowl commercials this year. When Jumpstart analyzed the post-game results of automotive advertisers from the 2010 game, the average share of shopping growth was 14 percent – less than a third of Explorer's growth from the Facebook unveiling.

"While it's unclear what Ford paid for the Facebook reveal, I'm confident it was nowhere near the cost of even one $2.5 million Super Bowl commercial," said Kyriakoza. "Ford's campaign clearly demonstrates that while traditional media can be highly effective in driving consideration, a well-executed and deeply influential online program can shift car shopping intent with immediacy and efficacy."

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