About a year ago, Saab got 500,000 eyeballs on its 9-3 Convertible using an online game tied to the show "Burn Notice". Ford is now doing the online game dance with the USA Network – the very same channel that aired "Burn Notice" – this time based on its new show "White Collar." The vehicle of choice: the Taurus.
You'll be using that Taurus – which is actually black, not red – to chase The White Shadow, the evilest white collar criminal around. And you'll need a suite of Ford features to do it: SYNC, SecuriCode, Collision Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control, among others. The game will take seven weeks to solve, so you'll be spending a lot of time in your sedan, but every week five winners will get a White Collar "gentlemen's bag," and the grand prize winner will get a new Ford Taurus. That one will probably will be red.
You can find the press release after the jump, or you can get straight to playing by clicking the link below.
2010 FORD TAURUS STARS IN NEW ONLINE INTERACTIVE GAME "CHASING THE SHADOW"
The hot-selling 2010 Ford Taurus is now a star in a new online game,
* The hot-selling 2010 Ford Taurus is now a star in a new online game, "White Collar: Chasing the Shadow," which is the online extension to the USA NETWORK hit TV drama "White Collar"
* The game takes product placement in casual gaming to the next level by fully integrating the Taurus and its technology and features into the gaming experience
* With online gaming in the U.S. growing 10 times as fast as the entire U.S. Internet population, the Ford Taurus has the opportunity to be virtually experienced by millions of online gamers. In November 2009, online gaming sites generated 53 million unique visitors in that month alone
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 19, 2010 – The hot-selling 2010 Ford Taurus takes a giant leap into cyberspace today, starring in a new online interactive game that takes product placement in casual gaming to the next level by fully integrating the vehicle and its technology and features into the gaming experience.
The game, "White Collar: Chasing the Shadow," is an extension of the critically acclaimed USA NETWORK drama "White Collar," which follows a con artist and FBI agent who team up to catch bad guys. The Taurus is not only featured prominently in the television series but now in a new online game that allows players – acting as FBI trainees – to drive the Taurus and use its features to catch a notorious villain dubbed "The White Shadow."
"What makes this initiative unique is that the 2010 Taurus isn't just along for the ride," said Connie Fontaine, Ford Brand Content & Alliances manager. "The new and class-exclusive technologies in the Taurus are used to interpret clues and collect evidence."
For example, players use the Ford SYNC technology to access text messages that contain important crime-solving tips.
"Features like SYNC, SecuriCode, Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning are used in the online game as they would be by a real-world consumer, and they seamlessly contribute to the game's plot and puzzles," explained Fontaine. "The game also is episodic in nature, giving players the ability to come back and solve new puzzles weekly and vary the ways in which they interact with the Taurus."
Online game product placement: Kicking it up a notch
Product placement in online games is not new for Ford, but the depth of the Taurus integration in "White Collar: Chasing the Shadow" is, according to Jonathan Beebe, Taurus Digital Marketing manager.
"This is a more immersive, realistic and storytelling-based experience that is more closely aligned with television and movie product integration," he said. "It raises the bar by providing realistic environments and compelling game play that showcases the Taurus and its features to consumers."
According to Jeff Eggen, Ford Car Experiential Marketing manager, the company is continually looking for ways to extend partnerships – like the one with USA NETWORK – in meaningful ways.
"What we really liked about creating the online game with USA is that it not only introduces Taurus to millions of consumers through the popularity of online gaming but provides them with a very engaging way to experience the innovative technology and features in the new Taurus," he said.
If you would like to experience the Taurus in the new online game, please visit http://chasingtheshadow.usanetwork.com and click on the "games" tab at the top of the page.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 200,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.