Essex-based Creative Events agency, Mansfields Design, has found an entertaining and informative way to bring to life the different personalities of the all-new Ford Fiesta for the car’s media launch event in Spain.
The Mansfields team was challenged by its long-standing client, Ford of Europe, to come up with something “experiential and different” to celebrate not just the launch of Britain’s best-selling car to the European media, but to challenge guests to think about the distinct personalities of each model within the new Fiesta portfolio.
The solution to the challenge came in the creation of “immersion zones” within a bespoke structure, each designed to highlight how our personalities as individuals are influenced by the reactions and perceptions we experience through our five senses – sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell. It is these senses that can also affect our choice of vehicle – and in the case of the new Fiesta, which of the five distinct models within the new line-up will appeal to our individual preferences.
“We wanted to invite guests to see how their personal reactions to sensory stimuli can be linked to their emotional connection with each of the individual models in the new Fiesta range – whether they prefer the comfort and elegance of the new Fiesta Titanium, the sportiness of the new Fiesta ST-Line, the refined luxury of the new Fiesta Vignale, the adventurous appeal of the new Fiesta Active or the thrill of the feisty Fiesta ST”, said Mansfields Creative Director, Ivor Frankland.
The Mansfields Design creative team, led by Grant Dudson, created a bespoke experience area within a stand-alone structure, located in the grounds of the event venue at the Castilla Termal Monasterio de Valbuena in Spain. Inside the Neptunus structure, ‘Talk Zones’ for guests to meet Fiesta engineers complement a series of immersive installations linked to the five key human senses:
- A Touch Tunnel designed to heighten one’s sense of touch, takes guests on a journey in complete darkness through a maze of materials we experience in the natural world, the manmade world and the new Ford Fiesta. Guests literally feel their way through the environment and encounter a variety of materials lining the walls of the tunnel, including tree bark, artificial grass, sponge, cork, bubble wrap, sticky tape and a collage of rubber gloves, leading up to the Fiesta materials like Titanium’s new Domo cloth seat trim and Fiesta Vignale’s quilted Winsor Leather. A ‘night vision’ camera captures images of guests as they progress through the tunnel.
- The See 360 room shows how the all-new Ford Fiesta can ‘see’ all around itself. Using a combination of front and rear cameras, front and rear radars and twelve ultrasonic sensors, new Fiesta can detect other vehicles and objects, including pedestrians. As guests walk through the space around an outline sculpture of the Fiesta body shell, projected beams are activated to demonstrate the combination of smart driver assistance technologies available in the new model. The room is mirrored on all sides to create a feeling of space.
- A highlight of the new Fiesta is its optional B&O Play premium audio system, which delivers the best possible sound quality for any music, regardless of the genre. Listening to music is an emotional experience, and everyone loves to let off steam when driving, so guests are invited inside one of two sound booths to take the Tune-In Challenge. A camera inside each booth captures the emotions guests express while they listen to a variety of pieces of music through B&O Play wireless headphones.
- The five individual personalities of the new Fiesta are further brought to life in the Which Fiesta are You? taste and smell experience, created in partnership with London-based Cock & Tail Bars. Guests are invited to select a Fiesta model, and are then invited to smell and taste two “shots” created to match the personality of that particular model. Flavours include Melon, Beetroot and Blueberry and Red Pepper and Chilli.
An additional installation is the Fiesta Carousel, which enables guests to put themselves in the centre of a line-up of life-sized half mannequins, each painted in one of the twelve high quality paint finishes available on the new Fiesta range. A 360-degree camera at the centre of the carousel then snaps a photo for guests to share.
Changing the Mould
The brief from the Ford Communications team was to “change the mould” for such events, and create something memorable and involving, while at the same time allowing guests to explore the key attributes of the new Fiesta.
Complementing the sensory experiences are comfortable ‘Talk Zones’ which allow journalists to enjoy informal, face-to-face dialogue with Ford’s engineers on key stories, including new Fiesta’s design, driving experience, driver assistance technologies and B&O Play audio system.
“We understood that many journalists attending the event would want to talk to the Ford team in detail about the car, but rather than sitting them down for a conventional PowerPoint presentation, we decided to encourage more relaxed dialogue as an integral element in the experience area,” said Mansfields Design Communications Director, Paul Harrison. “Guests can spend as much or as little time as they need inside the ‘Talk Zones’, and mix these sessions with time enjoying the sensory installations or taking a new Fiesta test car out on the local roads”.
The new Fiesta Drive Experience event lasts three weeks and more than 600 guests from X countries across Europe will have attended by the time the event ends.
“The new Fiesta is our most important new car this year, and it was critical that we created a launch event that not only told the story of the car, but also gave our media guests unusual and thought-provoking content to consider,” said Stéphane Cesareo, Ford of Europe’s Senior Manager for Product Launches and Events. “The Mansfields team has delivered a highly creative solution that is both engaging and disruptive in a good way, and the response has been very pleasing.”
Mansfields Design is based in Basildon, Essex and conceives, creates, installs and manages events of all kinds, from simple exhibition stands to extensive product launch events. Mansfields works for major companies of all sizes, both in the UK and Europe.