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Remember that old catch phrase, 'Ford Has A Better Idea'? Well, a collaborative partnership between Ford Motor Company, Sony Online Entertainment, and Sony Music Online has once again reinforced that pithy slogan, but now it's reaping rewards online as well.
Ford sought to jumpstart interest on the Web in its classic Mustang. To celebrate 35 years of the celebrated car, the automobile manufacturer retained Sony to create the Mustang Music Lounge site (www.sonymusic.com/music/mustang), launched on April 12.
According to Alex Kim, Mustang brand manager for Ford, the company wanted a site that would not only combine music and technology in one package, but reach a broad-based demographic audience as the Mustang appeals to everyone from teenagers to retirees.
"The Mustang Music Lounge is all about connecting with our customers and is an extension of what we're trying to accomplish with the brand," Kim said. "It unites the history of the Mustang with music hits over the past 35 years."
The Mustang Music Lounge has different icons for the 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's and corresponding audio clips from Sony artists for each decade. Many of the songs, not surprisingly, have themes that are positively associated with automobiles. Click on to the 60's page, for example, and you see a '63 Mustang, a brief description of how it came to be, and a musical selection from Bobby Vinton, featuring his 16 most requested songs - everything from 'Blue Velvet' to 'Take Good Care Of My Baby,' to 'Blue on Blue.' The 70's highlights the Mustang Boss 302 and songs from the Hollies. Fast track to the 80's to get a snapshot of the Mustang Cobra and music from Dan Fogelberg. The 90's displays the Mustang GT and selections from Gloria Estefan's 'Cuts Both Ways' album.
Viewers can also enter the Mustang Memories Sweepstakes by filling out an entry form. Prizes include a Sony car stereo system that includes an in-dash receiver with CD changer, a 10-disk CD changer package, and 20 Sony CDs. Sony is also throwing in another $175 cash for installation. Visitors can even download free Mustang and Sony Music screensavers from the site.
The Mustang Music Lounge offers cross-promotional opportunities for both companies. Entrants to the contest, unless they specify otherwise, are placed on both Ford's and Sony's e-mail list to receive regular product information. Visitors can also purchase the albums featured in each decade.
Chris Tice, senior vice president of advertising sales/partnership marketing at Sony Online Entertainment, said the Mustang Music Lounge matches the Sony Music hits archive with a popular American car.
"It helps draw an association between Mustang and the music from each period, all in an interactive environment," she said. "We also have a number of Mustang Music Lounge banner ads running on a wide variety of Sony's entertainment sites."
Tice said some of these include banners on the 'Soap City,' 'Dawson's Creek,' 'Jeopardy' and 'Wheel of Fortune' Web sites. She added that any given time there could be about two dozen Mustang Music Lounge banners running on various Sony sites.
Although both Ford and Sony would not disclose any site statistics such as page views, daily visits and traffic demographics, both Kim and Tice said that the two companies are 'very pleased' with the results.
"It's all about having fun," Kim said. "The site has given us a lot of good exposure and has appealed to both music fans and car lovers."
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