Virtual Reality Hits the Gas on Ford Motor Company’s Reach – New York News

Virtual Reality Hits the Gas on Ford Motor Company’s Reach – New York News

Joey Hand drives his Ford GT n°68 during the 84th Le Mans 24-hours endurance race, on June 19, 2016. JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

Denis Leary is the Patron Saint of Bros.

The giant of 90s stand-up comedy and Rescue Me star unleashes his full-throated bro-ness with glee as he narrates Ford Motor Company’s “Born To Baja” 360 video. It covers the F-150 Raptors’s competition in a 1,000 mile off-road race in Mexico.

“The Baja 1000 is known for being the toughest track you can possibly go to. Taking the Raptor there proves the durability of the truck, to show the world,” he intones—leaving a dramatic pause, “what a badass it is.”

A bit much, but it worked. That Baja video did the best job holding viewers’ attention among last year’s debut slate of Ford’s virtual reality offerings, according to company representatives presenting Tuesday at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Mobile Symposium in Midtown. Ford saw better than expected brand lift among Millennial and Gen X males after a year of experiments with goggle-optimized video.

Ford Motor Company didn’t give any specifics on brand lift in “brodom” sub-demographic in its presentation today.

Ford’s interest in VR as a design and engineering tool has been well covered, but using it as a brand building tool is new. There’s usually an early mover advantage for brands that get into buzzy new media, and those benefits accrued to the Dearborn, Michigan-based car company as it began rolling out 360 video experiences aimed at consumers over the last year. Virtual reality in 2016 earned Ford increased brand awareness with…

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