The New Edge

11/06/2010

Ford’s 2011 Edge midsize SUV comes installed with MyFord Touch, a compelling new system that allows drivers and passengers to stay comfortable, entertained, and connected using voice commands.

To get potential buyers familiar with MyFord Touch, Ford runs an ad in TIME, an appropriate choice. TIME’s average readership is 43.1-year-old male that make over $65k a year; young enough to see the advantage to being connected all the time, macho enough to drive a needlessly large car, and wealthy enough to afford a car that starts at $27,220.

The ad features a Microsoft tag that takes viewers to the mobile equivalent of the 2011 Edge page. The mobile site is well thought-out, with the essential information such as the starting MSRP and mileage at the top, and picture links to highlights of the MyFord Touch system at the bottom. In the middle are links to other information that would be important to potential buyers, such as pictures of the car, specs, and line-up and options.

Ford gets a cookie for being thoughtful. To cater to not-so-smartphone users like myself, information can also be obtained by texting “MYFORDTOUCH” to 4FORD. The reply was almost instantaneous, and was compliant with the MMA guidelines on SMS. However, it included a URL that I was unable to click on with my not-so-smartphone.

No big loss, though. I texted the keyword to the short code on an Android, and clicked on the link in the reply. It said “The site is currently unavailable; please contact the system administrator.”

I am taking back that cookie.

Short codes like 4FORD used to work really well when most cell phones had the E.161 keypad. My not-so-smartphone does not have E.161, and many touch screen phones with virtual keypads are also without it. Marketers should just spell out the number to text to, 43673 in this case.

In addition, with the Android being as smart as it is, it was actually more troublesome for me to type "MYFORDTOUCH” than “MY FORD TOUCH”. Ford gets credit for anticipating invalid keywords and responding with an error message that includes a link to The Ford Story; but I suggest choosing a keyword that is a single real word rather than a combination of several.

One Response to “The New Edge”

  1. Kelly McIvor Says:

    Same experience on my Android device when trying to access the url received via SMS. FAIL.
    I would have thought it was be the same as the url that the MS Tag directs you to.. I wonder if the MS Tag URL still works?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: