[credit provider=”YouTube” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nRGmAcnThk”]
When a Gawker commenter on Jalopnik said that the new Ford Fusion looked like a “fat-a**” with small windows and “needlessly angry” looking headlights, he probably didn’t expect Ford to fly him out to California to try and change his mind.Gawker Media and Ford are partaking in a new kind of sponsored post that goes above and beyond your typical native ad.
As a part of the “Fusion Project,” six knowledgeable (both positive and negative) commenters were flown to Los Angeles from as far as Alberta, Canada under the auspices of filling out a Ford consumer survey.
The real purpose was to get them to interact with the very car they had commented about on Jalopnik in ridiculous ways. That included meeting Top Gear hosts Rutledge Wood and Tanner Foust, who then took two lucky commenters careening down Mulholland in the Ford Fusion at a breakneck speed.
The first video — shot by director Tim Damon, who’s known for his car work — is up on Jalopnik, and two more will follow. A different video in the series involves stuffing people into the Focus’ trunk.
Wert was the editor of Jalopnik for six-plus years and then Gawker’s executive director of content before opening his own auto-focused creative studio. He worked with Ford’s Team Detroit and Gawker advertising creative director Mallory McMorrow to bring this immersive concept to life.
“You can have LOL ads and listicle ads, but how much does that move the needle?” Wert asked. “It should be about a story.”
And if you think about it, this kind of ad content makes complete sense for Gawker, its readers, and Ford.
Gawker prides itself in its comment system — when Nick Denton thought that the inclusive back-and-forth between reader, writer, and content was missing, he did a complete overhaul.
The sponsored content, coined as “Jalop Gear,” incentivizes people not to troll but to give constructive praise and criticism about topics they are passionate about.
Ford then has the opportunity to feed the fodder of fanboys and girls, and hopefully change the mind of haters.
Watch the video below:
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