Ford gets creative with Milk Studios to show off Fusion

DEARBORN, MI: Ford Motor Company has partnered with Milk Studios to show off the creative side of its Fusion model.

DEARBORN, MI: Ford Motor Company has partnered with Milk Studios to show off the creative side of its Fusion model.

Milk is a media company that promotes art in fashion, music, photography, and film. Ford decided to work with the firm to reach audiences outside of the auto, business, and enthusiast spaces to bring the Fusion to life, said Marisa Bradley, consumer media communications manager at Ford. The Fusion's target demographic is the “Millennial approaching the Gen Y group,” she said.

Both Milk and Ford have a “collective vision” of making art and culture accessible to everyone, Bradley explained. To do so, the companies gave six artists a chance to create their own piece of artwork inspired by the Fusion concept, she added.

The contributors, including fashion and conceptual art designer Cyril Duval and musician and entrepreneur Pharrell Williams, had about a month to design their work. On August 21, the pieces were showcased at Milk Studios in New York. More than 1,200 people attended the event, including more than 130 lifestyle and design media members.

“From a communications standpoint, there's nothing better than to see people in real time have a shift or do a double-take and say, ‘Wow, this is Ford Motor Company doing something really creative and unexpected.' That's exactly what we were trying to deliver with this collaboration,” Bradley said.

In the last week of August, the two companies will debut a gallery in Los Angeles to give consumers the chance to view the installations on the West Coast.

To keep the buzz going for the artwork, Milk and Ford worked with Ogilvy Public Relations to create the website, where editorial and video content about the artists' process is updated daily. Bradley added that mini-documentaries about each creative will debut on YouTube and the Fusionist site in the next few weeks.

Outreach to influencers, bloggers, and top-shelf media are important elements in the effort, and Bradley said social media is playing a large role, as well. Ford, Milk, and the associated artists are tweeting and posting messages on Facebook about the creative concepts.

Ford and Milk will also work with design and art schools around the country on installations so students can “use this as a platform to discuss the future of design and use us as an example of a corporate brand coming together with an unexpected cultural new icon, like Milk,” said Bradley. 

Last November, Ford reached out to young consumers by partnering with Zynga to promote the Ford Escape. The automaker also opened a Silicon Valley research lab in January.

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