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Ford hooks mobile engagements with free music downloads

Ford Motor Co. has a new mobile promotion for the Ford Focus that engages customers with an offer of free music downloads.

The automaker is teaming up with Klick Push, a digital marketing platform, and Pretio Interactive Inc., an enabler of advertising-reward moments, on the North Africa-targeted effort. The program highlights the power of a mobile phone?s music player to be part of an emotional marketing experience as mobile?s growing dominance shrinks available advertising-display space.

 ?Our goal is to personalize the music so as to offer an engaging experience and one that emotionally connects to the consumer,? said Ben Jorgensen, founder of San Francisco-based Klick Push. ?The user doesn't have to jump through hoops to get the song, it all happens instantly. Once the user is given the free song, they are able to put it into their choice of music player.

?Rewarding somebody with a gift card or a coupon doesn?t speak to the  emotions of an actual individual,? Mr. Jorgensen said.  ?If we can connect with that consumer they are going to be more likely to resonate with the brand and go on to purchase more products and feel connected and understood by a brand like Ford.?

Ford, of Dearborn, MI, could not be reached for comment.

Positive feelings
Ford, the second-largest United States automaker, has been using the campaign for the past month on mobile gaming applications. In it, the user interacts with the ad, discloses information in a survey and is prompted about the music-download reward to be delivered through email.
Live-events company Live Nation also is using Klick Push?s services.

The Live Nation program has been running for the past two months on mobile apps and games like the Game Show Network and SongPop.

The strategy borrows from Pandora?s model of matching music to the listener?s tastes and by capturing attention by asking users to pick out a preferred radio song list and give it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. 
Klick Push?s relationships with music labels such as Sony give it the right to use and distribute a huge body of downloadable music to customers.

Ford Focus.

?There?s a coarse filter, from the operating system and where you are geographically, associated with the website, the game you are associated with that brings you to the download,? said Jim Hayhurst, president of Pretio, which is based in Victoria, British Columbia.

?That coarse filter is the starting point for the magic that Klick Push has. The more touch points we have before the experience before we provide the data and the touch points after, that gets you to the more specific layer of interest. The longer we spend with someone, the more we can know about [them].?

Song of the week
Music has been shown to be a powerful marketing tool. Coffee giant Starbucks has been successful with promoting a "free song of the week" on its mobile application as a tool of engagement. (See story.)

A Pew Research Center report last year said 48 percent of people use their phones to listen to music.
?That is nearly half of all people with devices are using it to access music,? Klick Push?s Mr. Jorgensen said. ?We are taking a natural experience of the user and giving them something that works within their typical mobile routine. This is part of their current flow in their day.

?We?re really not doing anything out of the ordinary for the consumer. And because every person has a particular kind of music, we?re trying to build that personalized advertising experience through music.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter for Mobile Marketer, New York.