Does anyone remember the old motto, “Be American, Buy American?” When it comes to vehicles, a Ford just might be the American-made car to buy. Ford won the Nielsen Company’s first Automotive Green Marketer of the Year award at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. Ford won the award “in recognition of the brand that made the greatest strides in gaining consumer awareness and positively shifting consumer perceptions for their environmentally friendly marketing initiatives,” according to a press release.
Nielsen picked Ford as the award’s first ever winner for three reasons:
- Ford’s marketing campaigns for the Fiesta and Fusion Hybrid.
- Ford’s official sponsorship of American Idol, which gave it a forum to “put specific emphasis on the hybrid offerings,” as the press release states, and increased viewers’ awareness of its “green message among millions of people every week.” During the past season of American Idol, the Ford Music Video Challenge featured the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid.
- Ford’s use of social media, including launching new apps, helped the company “reach a new class of prospective car-buyers.”
To pick the winner, Nielsen looked at three research studies: a cross-media survey of almost 7,000 U.S. consumers, an analysis of data on the effective of green automotive ads based on the reactions of 2.5 million viewers who had seen the ads, and a social media analysis which looked at almost 60,000 messages. Auto manufacturers with any national television ads that had ‘green’ themes between October 2009 and September 2010 were eligible for the award.
The award is “for the auto marketer who was most effective at leveraging its brand to further the ‘green’ movement and create positive awareness for all the auto industry is doing to drive fuel-efficiency and eco-friendly practices,” said said Lois Miller, President, Nielsen Automotive. “This was best exemplified by Ford.”
“Looking at all automotive brands in the study, the five nominees rose to the top across the three studies,” Miller added. “They gained the most awareness and positive perceptions from consumers around their green marketing initiatives. Ultimately, in a challenged economic environment, this was no small feat.”
During the past two years, Ford received almost six billion in loans from the federal government. In 2009, Ford received a $5.9 billion loan subsidy under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). In August, Ford received a $250 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import Bank to sell 200,000 U.S. made vehicles in Canada and Mexico. The $250 million loan finances $3.1 billion in sales of vehicles made in six Ford plants in five states.