Once a niche product for “friendless geeks”, video games have become a multi-billion dollar industry with events and conventions that rival even shows like the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. One of the gaming industry’s biggest events, Gamescom, is happening right now, and ever eager to make an impression on Millennials, big car companies, including Ford, are on hand to win favor with younger buyers.
Top Gear’s the Stig drove a player-customized 2015 Ford Focus RS wearing Forza Motorsport livery to Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. In addition to its 345 horsepower hot hatch, the 600 horsepower Ford GT will also be on hand to dazzle fans at the European gaming convention, as well as occupy the coveted cover of Forza Motorsport 6.
“In Forza Motorsport 6, racing and gaming enthusiasts all over the world will be the first to experience Ford’s new ultra-high-performance supercar, the Ford GT,” said Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios in Redmond, Washington, U.S. “In Cologne we’re excited to showcase the real all-new Focus RS clad in a special paint scheme created by the Forza community. During Gamescom, gamers will also get to see the Forza Motorsport 6 cover-car Ford GT in person.”
To celebrate Forza Motorsport 6, Ford asked fans to design the livery for their custom Focus RS, though that isn’t Ford’s only crossover with Forza. Then the Stig (who apparently isn’t joining Clarkson, May, and Hammond on their new show) drove the customized Focus RS to the event, hanging around in his always-quiet way. Ford’s efforts with social media and Millennial outreach are the envy of the industry, yet they’re not doing anything revolutionary. Young men love cars, video games, and girls.
Ford hit two outta three with this stunt, and the Ford GT is going to be the car every gamer sees when they first crack open the game case, and it’s going to be the car everyone wants to unlock right away. That’s how you market to Millennials.