While the Escape was an instant hit when it first launched in 2000 kickstarting the CSUV craze, years of recalls which tanked quality perceptions, and today’s fierce 30-competitor landscape have taken its toll, leading to an annual share decline of 15% the past five years.
With the newly launched Ford Bronco Sport now quickly cannibalizing Escape sales, established and new players alike continuing to steal share, we needed to reposition Escape as the definitive city CSUV to win millennial drivers back to the brand.
Simply stating the Escape was now urban wouldn’t be believable for our trendy millennial target because street credibility isn’t something you can just claim for yourself. But witnessing the reinvention of brands like Crocs go from fashion faux pas to streetwear must-have seemingly overnight, by tapping into the power of collaboration with brands like Balenciaga, gave us a blueprint to consider.
While Escape lacks street cred on its own, being seen with people who did could be just as compelling.
GET: Image conscious Millennials who dismiss untrendy brands
TO: See Ford Escape as the stylish urban CSUV
BY: Partnering with street-savvy tastemakers who see the city different
We found our partner in Theo Skudra, who would act as the face of this campaign as the on-screen talent, as well as the behind-the-lens talent.
Theo was an established urban influencer in his own right, whose claim to fame includes being the photographer and music-video director to the biggest urban influencer on the planet, Drake.
Our campaign would revolve around Theo Skudra seeing the city differently from the perspective of a world-class street photographer. This spot-driven campaign would run on TV, OLV, connected TV environments, as well as organic social.
The Tier 1 (brand advertising) components of this campaign saw Theo navigate the city, snapping his subjects while riding around in his Escape. The Tier 2 (retail advertising) components of the campaign highlighted how specific Escape features like Active Park Assist, helped Theo along the way.
Together, these efforts would help shift millennial perceptions of Escape as a credible urban SUV.