Imagination has been working on an exciting new initiative for Ford of Europe which broke on 2 September, a brand new platform named Ford Horizon which will be the home for the automotive giant’s virtual experiences and events.
Ford Horizon is a bespoke platform with single sign-on functionality that takes the audience away from the usual zoom-type call and into a designed and curated experience with rich interactivity, wrapped around next-level content.
Imagination’s brief was to create a platform to reach and engage audiences in new and exciting ways virtually. With the insight that many others are simply re-producing physical events virtually in a Covid world, or using traditional corporate video, the response was to embrace the virtual medium and all it has to offer.
The debut experience is a technical deep dive into their new connected in-car infotainment system – Ford’s next generation SYNC, first to be seen inside their new all-electric car, the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The broadcast presentation element is presented from an Immersive XR studio, utilising cutting edge visual effects techniques. Built on the Unreal Engine, the virtual environment Imagination created brings content to life in completely new ways. Real-time graphics and augmented reality blend with real presenters to transport viewers into a new virtual world.
The programming has been developed as a series of one-hour experiences hosted on the new Ford Horizon platform including a 30-minute presented show and a 30-minute media Q&A, with audiences joining one of 6 event slots.
“With the first outing on Horizon for Ford’s next-generation SYNC, the idea was to bring a whole new format to the technical deep dive. Showcasing what is often granular details in dramatic new ways, and the Immersive studio is a fantastic tool to achieve this with.” explains James Keane, creative director at Imagination.
“The show amplifies the important details in Ford’s latest technology advancements in the digital owners’ experience by showcasing those moments, with larger-than-life 3D graphics that presenters interact with. Giant smartphones, colossal touch screens and vehicles that appear out of nowhere. This is just the beginning of a new way of bringing Ford’s products and announcements to life.”
Bringing in remote presenters in the new normal is a feature the Immersive Studio created in partnership with Creative Technology can deliver.
“Continuing to put the human face behind the brand and product into the story and presentation still remains vitally important when working with a new format,” says Imagination’s Emma Proud, creative producer. “We’ve only scratched the surface on what the studio and the Ford Horizon platform can offer, but finding new and exciting ways of bringing people together is something Imagination will always strive to do, physically and virtually.”
Ford of Europe director of product communications, Jay Ward, said: “We were looking for a truly innovative solution to getting news out to media, consumers and employees, and the Ford Horizon platform developed with Imagination does just that. Going forwards, we see this as a different way to host shows and events in the future as the world grapples with safer ways to interact with its audience. This first event for our next generation SYNC connectivity platform is a signal of more exciting developments yet to come.”