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Ford Majors in New Drivers Ed on MTVU

Oct 22, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Taking product placement to the college crowd, Ford Motor Co. is sponsoring a reality show on MTVU.
The program, “The MTVU College 500,” features teams of students from different schools competing in a series of cross-country challenges with a $15,000 prize for the winner.
Of course, the students will be doing the traveling in new Ford Focus coupes and Ford Escape hybrids.
Their travels are being documented by filmmakers from MTVU’s BestFilmOnCampus.com, so there’s a user-generated-content feel to the program as well.
“‘MTVU College 500’ lets us ride shotgun through a rite of passage—the college road trip—with some hilarious challenges along the way, and some cash at the end of the road,” said Ross Martin, senior VP of programming for MTVU. “It’s almost as fun to watch as it must’ve been to actually race across the country.”
The episodes’ challenges are designed to test the students’ ability to work together as a team and how well they can think strategically and creatively on their feet.
One of the elements of Ford’s “Drive One” campaign—Smart, Green, Safety, Quality—is integrated into each of the challenges, which include organizing concerts and creating safety relays for students on campus before going to the next college.
The student teams began their race at Rutgers University in New Jersey. The finish line is at California State University, Long Beach. In between will be stops at Penn State, Indiana University, the University of Missouri, the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Las Vegas.
“Ford is committed to creating high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient and technologically advanced automobiles, all of which are ideal elements for college drivers,” said Crystal Greene, manager of sponsorships and diverse markets for Ford. “‘MTVU College 500’ is a great way for us to let students experience Ford vehicles on the open road as they watch these teams journey to the West Coast.”
With students as its target audience, “College 500″ has a Web component. Users can follow the road trip at http://college500.mtvu.com, where interactive maps are posted that show each team’s progress. There are also blogs from competitors, profiles and photos.
Users can make comments and win prizes themselves. By answering a “Question of the Week,” Web site visitors can win a weekly $500 cash prize. The amount mirrors the $500 cash back Ford offers in its College Student Purchase Program.
MTVU is broadcast on about 750 college campuses and is distributed by cable operators in about 700 college communities, reaching about 9 million college students. In addition to its cable and online programming, MTVU stages about 250 events per year on college campuses.
In the past, MTVU and Ford have teamed up to produce “Your Ticket 2 Drive” and season four of MTVU’s “Quad Squads.” “Your Ticket 2 Drive” urged college students to log onto yourticket2drive.com and enter to win a trip to the 2007 MTV Woodie Awards. In MTVU’s reality series “Quad Squads,” college rivals Ohio State and Michigan battled for internships at Ford and a $5,000 prize package.

42 Comments

  1. I am trying to find out if Ford Motor Company is still producing and distributing a series of videos or DVD’s for driver education purposes with young novice drivers. Back in the mid 80’s and 90’s our agency was able to obtain a copy of an eight video series that was excellent for use with our young novice driver candidites. The former set of eight videos included topics such as: It’s a Matter of Attitude, Visual Habits and Driving in the City, Night Driving, Driving in Inclimate Weather, On the Freeway, The little Things, Preventive Maintenance, Getting Ready for the Prom. We are re-implementing a program this summer (July, 2009) for primarily young novice viusally challenged driver applicants and would like to include and acquire an up-to-date copy of the latter (in content and DVD format if avaialble). Any assistance in putting me in touch with an appropriate party would be sincerely appreciated.
    Cordially,
    Chuck Huss, COMS
    Coordinator – Bioptic Driving Program
    WV Division of Rehabilatation Services
    P. O. Box 1004
    Institute, WV 25112
    TEL: 304-766-4803 (o)
    FAX: 304-766-5533 (o)
    E-MAIL: chuck.huss@wvdrs.org (o)

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