When Ford of Canada is your client and they ask you to create an experience that demonstrates just how tough their All New F-150 pickup truck is…what do you do?
You create the tough.
Ford wanted to take on real Canadian winter driving conditions with a February 16-20 launch and my team was to design a series of challenging off-road activities. I’d have to say this was not only an experience for the journalists we invited to test drive the 2015 F-150; it was also quite the experience for my team to put ‘the tough’ together.
The journalists drove the F-150 from Quebec City to Charlevoix, Quebec. Once they had left the highway portion of test drive the participants were able to tackle the different scenarios we had prepared for them. And this was where the fun began. On a partially snow cleared airport runway in Charlevoix we had a slalom course set up. But this wasn’t just any slalom… this one had an icy skid pad surface—it’s not too often you get a chance to skid across a runway in the middle of winter! Or take a vehicle for a run through deep snow; some of the journalists had fun with this and tried out a little acceleration. There was also a lot of pride expressed from those who were able to complete the slalom course without wiping out any of the orange cones!
The journalists were also able to test the truck’s payload and trailer towing capacities. For this, we had a variety of heavy equipment so participants could experience how the truck handled a load be it payload in the truck or towing over the same designated route which consisted of a variety of country roads. Some of the heavy equipment options included: a 25-foot trailer and a backhoe with a total trailering of 4,050 kg (9,000 lbs.) Another was a 900-pound payload load in the bed.
My favourite part of ‘the tough’ was held at an abandoned quarry which we converted into what some of the participants claimed to be the best off-road course they’d ever been on. This course was fantastic to put together; my team had to bring in heavy machinery so the course was actually carved out of the rocks. The result was a very rugged terrain with large chunks of loose rock, steep summit climbs, icy down hills and sections that wound through patches of deep snow and if that wasn’t enough tough for the F-150 to tackle there was a log crawl which had the trucks creeping over a series of large loose logs.
With the launch behind us I believe it’s safe to say we created the tough conditions for a tough truck and the All New F-150 successfully navigated both the winter conditions and all the off-road activities. My team had an absolute blast being a part of this event it was fun to be able to create an experience that showcases your Client’s product capabilities in such challenging circumstances…it’s certainly not every day my team is out icing runways, carving roadways out of boulders and meeting Mother Nature face to face…but I’ll tell you a little more about Mother Nature’s visit to our launch it my next post.
Watch how tough the F-150 is: