Ford Markets Focus Via AtomShockwave Game – Brief Article

Janis Mara

The Ford-sponsored game is part of an on-going brand-extension partnership between Ford and AtomShockwave, which has created similar promotions for the automaker over the past six months.

“DJ Fu,” an online game that features stealth marketing for Ford Motor Co.’s Focus automobile, is expected to launch on Friday. The game was designed by San Francisco-based AtomShockwave, an online entertainment company that was formed through the merger last March of interactive media companies Shockwave.com and AtomFilms; the two continue to maintain separate Web sites. The game will be available at Shockwave’s consumer gaming site, located at Shockwave.com.

By offering a cool, free-to-users game that features a subtle-rather than explicit–marketing message to Shockwave’s core demographic, males ages 18-34, users will equate the Ford Focus with being young and hip, said Seth Levenson, Atom Shockwave’s vp of online sales. “Once they make that connection, it’s another push toward purchasing a Focus when they decide to buy a car.”

According to Levenson, the game is an attractive vehicle for Ford to showcase its car to a consumer base that is on target with Focus’s ideal consumer. “The Shockwave site has about 40 million registered users and almost 14 million unique visitors per month who spend more than 16 minutes per session. People come to the site to play games,” said Levenson.

DJ Fu features a Gen-Y guy skateboarding through a noir landscape that features signs with the word “focus” in lowercase letters and the occasional unobtrusive Ford Focus automobile whizzing by. Every time the wannabe DJ manages to grab one of the record albums hovering just out of reach and put it on a turntable, the game goes up a level–and a new musical element is added to the audio mix.

The DJ Fu game will be featured on the Shockwave.com site, while three short action films created by AtomShockwave for Ford in October 2000 will run on AtomFilms. com

“Independent filmmakers created the three movies, Gulp, Little Man on Campus and The Kiss. All three films were funded by Ford. The only condition was that there had to be a Ford Focus somewhere in the film,” said Levenson, who bears an outstanding advertising heritage, being the son of Bob Levenson, author of the classic tagline, “Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.”

One of the films, Gulp, was accepted at the Sundance Film Festival, Levenson said. “If you didn’t know it was funded by Ford, you would just think, ‘These are three great little films.'”

COPYRIGHT 2001 BPI Communications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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