Case study: Ford’s SMS campaign

When Ford launched the Mondeo and S-Max models in 2011, the car brand wanted to raise awareness on the products and their features, such as the EcoBoost technology.

With the help of Out There Media, the brand decided to build an interactive campaign around the two car models, comprising two main elements - a mobile website and the messaging dialogue. The target audience comprised those aged 30 and above who indicated an interest in cars.


Recipients who had opted in were sent SMSes. Those who replied to the initial SMS then received a reply that gave them a link to a mobile website where they could find out more about the cars as well as download wallpapers and register for a test drive.

Beyond awareness, the client also hoped to drive traffic to its showrooms with the test drive option.

SMS was the preferred format because it proved to be Out There Media's best-performing method, which users are familiar with.

SMS is also concise, compatible with all handsets. Furthermore, the agency noted it receives a higher response rate on SMS over other formats.

This SMS campaign was carried out using a process called optimisation, which basically involved sending different copies of SMSes to each target audience in order to find the one that garnered the most favourable response.

Each SMS highlighted different features of the models, and the best performing one indicated to the client which features were more important to the target audience.

Optimisation allowed the agency to get a larger pool of respondents, hence interested users, improving the client's return-on-investment (ROI).

About 40% of the users responded performance and 40% comfort. The remaining 20% chose the third option, others. This was shared with the client.

The responses from users helped in building a subsequent campaign.

The campaign focused on the performance of Ford cars or the comfort factor. Ford was mentioned in the initial message. This also served as a simple survey on how its target audience view their brand.

The performance benchmark for an average digital or mobile campaign is 2%.

The campaign received an average response rate of 3.4% to the initial message with some blasts going as high as 7.1%.

The awareness campaign ran from 18 October until 30 November, 2011, through Out There Media's advertising marketplace, Mobucks.

The campaign was executed by GroupM and Out There Media as the mobile advertising company. The mobile website and SMS copies were created in-house.


The average response rate more than doubled between 1.6% and 7.1%. About 10.9% of the respondents went on to visit the mobile website. Client reached 40,000 targeted users at a cost of RM0.29.