FORD SYNC MEETS BEST BUY MOBILE AS FORD AND BEST BUY TEAM UP TO HELP CUSTOMERS GET CONNECTED
“SYNC: Say the Word” ad campaign will feature robotic “voice agents” that act as personal assistants as voice commands are activated. The campaign launches as Ford teams up with Best Buy Mobile stores and Geek Squad to host consumer pilot programs.
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- Ford and consumer electronics leader Best Buy team up to help build SYNC® awareness and provide mobile technical support through Best Buy Mobile stores and Geek Squad nationwide
- More than 30 Texas Best Buy locations will host pilot consumer programs throughout October, providing SYNC demos and Ford owner clinics, with planned nationwide expansion in 2010
- Ford launches new “SYNC: Say the Word” ad campaign for print and online publications to educate buyers on the simplicity and power behind its SYNC system
- Ford SYNC voice-activated communications system integrates a variety of technologies to provide emergency, diagnostic and information services as well as traffic reports and directions
View YouTube Video: SYNC: Say the Word
DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 15, 2009 – Ford Motor Company has teamed up with the industry’s largest electronics retailer, Best Buy, to help bring consumers closer to the industry-leading SYNC® in-car communications system. Through Best Buy Mobile, the retailer will offer thousands of specially trained associates to assist with Ford SYNC education, training and phone compatibility tests to ensure consumers are maximizing the SYNC experience.
Beginning in October, Best Buy stores in Texas will conduct a pilot program involving more than 30 Best Buy locations where consumers will be able to experience live SYNC demos and Ford, Lincoln and Mercury customer clinics. The SYNC demos will show participants how their mobile phones can interact with the voice-activated system, while customer clinics will help new Ford customers improve their understanding of SYNC capabilities using their actual phones and vehicles. Local dealers will participate to offer additional expert assistance on SYNC.
“With the ever-changing technology landscape, it was a strategic decision to work with Best Buy to provide our customers another expert resource on the Ford SYNC platform,” said John Felice, general manager, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Marketing. “As we expand the capabilities of SYNC, we will need to educate our customers on the full benefits and expanded services of newly added applications. We couldn’t think of a better way for consumers to learn about new SYNC features than from the experts at Best Buy that they’ve learned to trust.”
Local dealers will remain the primary touch point for consumers interested in purchasing SYNC; however, Best Buy Mobile experts will serve as another resource for consumers looking to learn more about the compatibility of their mobile devices. Under the agreement, Best Buy Mobile associates will provide Ford owners with phone pairing information, helping them get comfortable with SYNC and enabling them to either connect their existing handset or choose a compatible mobile phone.
Best Buy also will include Ford SYNC mobile phone compatibility results in its monthly Best Buy Mobile Buyer’s Guide to identify which of the latest mobile devices work seamlessly with Ford SYNC. The ratings are based on phone compatibility tests conducted by Best Buy’s tech services unit Geek Squad, and are updated frequently. The SYNC ratings can also be found at www.syncmyride.com.
“We have a strong belief that mobile technology should serve people and help them stay connected whether it’s at home, at work or in the car,” said Best Buy Mobile President Shawn Score. “We are excited to partner with Ford to educate consumers on its SYNC technology. Best Buy Mobile helps thousands of consumers every day get connected with mobile devices and services that make their lives better, and now we’re ready to do the same thing for Ford SYNC users.”
National SYNC ad campaign rolls out
Earlier this month, Ford Motor Company launched its new advertising campaign for SYNC, called “SYNC: Say the Word,” to further increase awareness around its current voice-activated applications. The SYNC ads will target young, tech-savvy drivers and appear in various print and online mediums.
“SYNC: Say the Word” will feature robotic “voice agents” that act as personal assistants as voice commands are activated. There will be a total of nine robots that will each showcase the various applications of SYNC including turn-by-turn navigation, 911 Assist, music search, audible text message reading, hands-free calling, business search, Vehicle Health Report, real-time traffic and My Favorites – news, sports, weather.
To complement print advertisements, Ford will also release 30-second video spots with select robotic voice agents to build awareness of how each SYNC application can be activated by simple voice command. The company will also make available a total of 11 instructional videos that highlight each SYNC feature on its redesigned consumer education Web site, which can be found at http://www.fordvehicles.com/innovation/sync/.
“With the cadence of new product releases, we’ve found it is essential to assist our consumers with education on features, benefits and usage,” said Felice. “While very intuitive, we’ve taken a proactive approach to SYNC marketing because it’s important that consumers understand just how SYNC has evolved beyond voice-activated music controls. Through these efforts, Ford has provided a touch point for drivers both online and offline to help maximize their driving experience while staying connected to the information they want, when they want it.”
As SYNC capabilities expand, more experts essential
Ford SYNC seamlessly integrates a variety of technologies such as an onboard text-to-speech engine, a customer’s mobile phone and network, data-over-voice technology, an off-board routing engine and voice portal. Combined, these technologies enable:
- Voice dialing allows users to press the “Push to Talk” button on the steering wheel, then say the name of the person they wish to call. SYNC will automatically connect with the names in the mobile phone’s contact list.
- Voice control of MP3 devices lets users browse the music collection on a connected digital media player, mobile phone or USB drive by genre, album, artist and song title using simple voice commands, such as “Play Genre Rock,” “Play <artist>” or “Play Track <song title>.”
- 911 Assist can place a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an accident involving the activation of an air bag or, on certain vehicles, the emergency fuel pump shutoff. If an occupant cannot respond, SYNC can deliver a recorded message to the 911 service to alert an operator that a crash has occurred.
- Vehicle Health Report gives customers the ability to monitor and manage their vehicle’s health in a single, easy-to-read report and receive important notifications. The report includes diagnostic systems’ statuses, scheduled maintenance, needed repairs from the last dealership visit, and will even alert owners of any open recalls.
- Traffic, Directions & Information, SYNC’s newest application, can deliver personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather – without the need for a built-in or aftermarket navigation system.
New SYNC applications introduced in 2009 have dramatically expanded the system’s capabilities, and continue to set the standard for ease of use. SYNC allows customers to move seamlessly between their home, car and office, staying connected wherever they go.
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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 201,000 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.
About Best Buy Mobile
Best Buy Mobile features one of the largest selections of carriers, handsets and accessories available anywhere, as well as a highly trained staff to help customers make the most of their mobile phones. Best Buy Mobile locations feature more than 90 different handsets from nine carriers, and one of the widest assortments of accessories in retail. Employees undergo at least 80 hours of intensive training, as well as continuing education on mobile phone technology and trends. Look for your mobile phone solution at Best Buy Mobile locations in every Best Buy store as well as at stand-alone stores nationwide.