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Ford Canada steers F-150 ad into Twitter First View

Automaker uses video in social service's 24-hour timeline takeover

The 2017 F-150 Ford Raptor is intended to offer a lot more space for gear and legroom, so perhaps it’s fitting that Ford decided to take up some more space of its own by becoming the launch advertiser for the debut of Twitter’s First View offering in Canada.

Announced last month, Twitter First View offers brands a coveted spot at the top of consumers’ timelines, and gives them the advantage of remaining there for a 24 hour period. Ford Canada is using the opportunity to share not only a tweet, but an embedded video ad describing the F-150’s various benefits.

“Typically the market for a vehicle like the F-150 is more male-dominated, but we felt this would have more mass-appeal. That’s already been shown in terms of the actual comments from users,” said Seema Shah, vice-president of media at Blue Hive, which handled the creative portion of the campaign for Ford. “We’ve had tweets from women who said, ‘You had me at more leg room.'”

Ivan Pehar, Twitter Canada’s manager of strategic accounts, said the quality of the creative in this case was a perfect showpiece for what First View is intended to do.

“The first frame calls out the vehicle, calls out the brand,” he said, noting this immediacy is reflected in the way First View works within the social media service. “Regardless of what time you’re booting up, we’re ensuring that the first impression an individual sees is the Ford campaign. It offers our customers scale and reach with an audience that they haven’t been able to reach on Twitter before.”

Ford Canada has a history of being a first-mover on new ad offerings, said Brooke Robinson, director of social at Mindshare Canada, which handled the media buy. The automaker was early in its use of Snapchat, for example, and in this case First View was determined to be a strong addition to its marketing mix.

“It fit perfectly for a product launch,” she said. “It means Ford is owning that share of voice, and (the ad) fits natively within the content.”

Shah said Ford would obviously continue to work through more traditional channels such as TV and print, but First View was an opportunity to experiment and learn more about the changing way consumers choose to get information.

“Mobile is pretty much the first touch point,” she said. “This is not the only place where the marketplace is going, but social and mobile as a platform is going to play more of a role, and so it will become one of the first channels we use to push the messaging out there.”

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