New Ford RS cars don’t come along that often, so when Ford of Europe asked Mansfields to deliver a knock-out global reveal event for the all-new Focus RS, we understood this would be a big deal, and the expectations would be high!
The brief from Ford asked for something very different, and a “show” rather than a typical corporate news conference or product reveal.
The location chosen for the arena show was a warehouse location inside the Engine Plant at the company’s Cologne factory. A suitable presenter was chosen in the form of broadcaster Chris Barrie, and a specialist production team including vehicle choreographers, action film presenters and experienced television producers was assembled by Mansfields.
As part of the event, Ford wanted to celebrate RS heritage, but in a way that highlighted technology and innovation and looked forward. To do that, Mansfields created a pageant of the most significant Ford RS cars in the marque’s 48-year legacy and a discussion between host Chris Barrie and Ford’s European head of Product Development, Joe Bakaj, highlighted interesting technologies and key innovations for each car driven through the arena.
Ford also wanted to create one of the most dramatic drive-in moments in the history of car reveals, and to show people – not just tell them — that the all-new Focus RS will be a serious machine that is a breed apart from the competition.
As part of the new Focus RS development programme, Ford brought in rally driver and internet sensation Ken Block, whose Gymkhana video series attracts tens of millions of views on YouTube. Ken was made available to Mansfields as a key element in the reveal event.
Block was used to good effect in a pre-shot video clip of him driving an RS prototype at speed through the Cologne plant, as well as in the actual reveal arena itself where he staged a dramatic entrance to the show and performed drifts and donuts with the car before being interviewed about his role in shaping the new RS.
Above all, this event needed high energy and impact to create buzz, stimulate desire and evoke emotion, building pride and enthusiasm among car enthusiasts, RS fans, Ford employees and the media – all of whom were represented in the “live” audience on the day as well as online through a professionally-produced livestream feed.
From what we have seen in the aftermath of the reveal, the event appears to have had precisely the desired effect with incredible coverage and online pick-up around the world.
Photos courtesy of Ford of Europe