Stars of the Emmy-winning hit TV series "24" emerged from Ford Escape Hybrids and Mercury Mariner Hybrids and stepped onto the red carpet, as they arrived at last night’s Emmy Awards in Hollywood. "24" took home the trophy for Best Drama Series.

Ford Motor Company’s Global Brand Entertainment Division provided the transportation as part of a new initiative called "H2O" (Hybrid Hollywood Opportunity) to build awareness of the company’s hybrid program.

"You’ll be seeing Ford and Mercury hybrids at every major awards ceremony in Hollywood this season," said Myles Romero, director of Ford Global Brand Entertainment, which integrates the company’s eight vehicle brands in television, cable, music videos and feature films around the world.

"This is a great low-cost way to let people know that Ford is a player in the hybrid business, and the H2O project gets that message across organically."

Besides providing Ford hybrid transportation to nominees of Emmy, Grammy, Academy and Golden Globe awards, Ford Global Brand Entertainment is also giving recipients vouchers which allow them to drive a Ford Escape Hybrid or Mercury Mariner Hybrid for a month. Romero says it creates goodwill about Ford’s environmental commitment, builds interest in the Ford brand and helps sell cars.

"We just sold five Ford Escape Hybrids to New Line Cinema as a direct result of letting the studio use one for a month," he said. "We’re being very strategic about who we do business with and who we let drive the vehicles, but we’ve learned that once they drive them, there’s a very good chance they’ll buy them."

As the only automaker with an office in Beverly Hills, Romero says the company is well-placed to spread Ford’s "green" message to the entertainment industry — not only in front of the camera, but behind the scenes as well.

"This initiative makes sense because it’s a great way to repurpose our office to help communicate something that is extremely relevant to the California crowd and specifically Hollywood," said Romero. "It goes back to the Mark Fields’ mantra of ’one-plus-one-equals- three.’ "

Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Cindy Crawford and husband Randy Gerber, and ex-Gucci designer Tom Ford attended a recent low-profile but star-studded H2O event at the home of Ron Meyer, head of NBC Universal Studios, at which architect and environmentalist William McDonough was the featured speaker.

McDonough, author of "Cradle to Cradle," a best-selling book on corporate sustainability, discussed his relationship with Ford and how the company turned its gigantic Rouge facility in Dearborn into a manufacturing model of environmental sustainability.

"The H2O project is part of a long-term strategy to get our environmental message out to an area of the country where it means the most," said Romero. "The fact is the sale of hybrids is taking place predominantly on the east and west coasts, and we are well-situated to remind people that Ford is very much a part of the hybrid world."

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: