The Blue Oval looks to the future with a new advert and brand experience studio

Ready the wings, fire up the nachos, and prepare yourself for some daytime drinking. Super Bowl LI is upon us, and whether you’re rooting for the Patriots or the Falcons, this great American pastime is sure to bring plenty of entertaining advertisements during the commercial breaks. As such, just before kickoff, Ford will lead the charge with a new 90-second ad that spotlights a few mobility solutions the brand has in the oven to help make our lives easier. Coinciding with the ad is a new interactive brand experience studio that’s opening up in New York City, which promises a more in-depth look at what Ford imagines the future of transportation will look like.

The studio is called FordHub, and it’s located in the Westfield World Trade Center. Ford hopes the new hub will help it connect with consumers and inspire “imagination and dialogue” about the future of mobility through a variety of activities, exhibits, and interactive displays.

Included is a glimpse at what Ford imagines to be the “City of Tomorrow,” highlighting some of the technologies people might use to get around. There’s also a real-time look at New York’s current transportation status, including traffic info, trains, ferries, and more.

Then there are games like the Last Mile Challenge, which pits attendees against the clock in a virtual race to get from A to B using multiple transportation solutions, and Mustang over Manhattan, wherein participants must virtually build Ford’s famous muscle car on top of the Empire State Building.

Finally, Ford is also announcing the Mobilize New York Challenge, which invites proposals to solve NYC’s transportation problems, with more than $30,000 in cash prizes offered as motivation.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI
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These days, there are a lot of automakers out there looking to become a “mobility company.” While the term is rather vague, the idea is the pin down what folks will be using as their primary mode of transportation in 10, 20, 30, or 50 year’s time.

There are a ton of experts out there saying the car as we know it will need to change substantially in the next several decades in order to bend to environmental pressures, political pressures, and quickly growing population numbers, and companies like Ford seem to agree. The proliferation of technology like autonomous drive systems, alternative fuels, and electric vehicles promise sweeping changes in this regard, while also hinting at the possible arrival of new ownership models.

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI
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Thus, we have things like FordHub, which takes a stab at predicting what’ll happen when these new technologies take hold in a big way. I can’t help but be reminded of the “World of Tomorrow” and the Futurama that was presented at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Will our present-day predictions hold true, or will they be so grossly off the mark, future generations will look back and roll their eyes at our naiveté?

Press Release

Ford is expanding its efforts to connect with consumers – some who never have done business with the company before – through the opening of its first-ever FordHub interactive brand experience studio in New York City and a new ad for Super Bowl LI.

FordHub, located in one of New York’s busiest transportation centers – Westfield World Trade Center – is an interactive space designed to show the public how Ford’s expansion to an auto and a mobility company is helping change the way the world moves. FordHub is designed to inspire visitors – whether they own or intend to own a Ford vehicle or not – to think about the future of transportation in an entirely new way by encouraging imagination and dialogue.

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI
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“Ford was founded on the promise of providing affordable transportation solutions to millions of customers, and this commitment still drives us today,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “As we expand our business to be both an auto and mobility company, we’re using new experiences like FordHub and our first Super Bowl ad that talks about the future to explain what we mean when we say ‘We Go Further so you can.’”

Opening today, FordHub invites consumers to join Ford to explore, experiment and learn how the company is rethinking the future of transportation.

“Our first FordHub is a place designed to spark questions and curiosity,” said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “This isn’t a store or a dealer – it’s a place for participation and creativity. We want people to have fun while engaging in conversation about the future of transportation.”

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI
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Exhibits and activities address mobility

As Ford is working with cities around the world to address growing mobility challenges, the company welcomes visitors to the FordHub to where they can get a glimpse at Ford’s vision for solutions. Guests can explore a world map to see how near-term mobility advancements – including autonomous and electric vehicles, ride-sharing, ride-hailing and connected vehicles – will play a pivotal role in the City of Tomorrow.

FordHub also features a mobility map that tracks the pulse of New York City – with a dashboard of real-time traffic information for commuters, including trains, ferries and alerts.

Other experiences offer fun and intrigue. In Last Mile Challenge, guests stand on wobbleboards and race through a futuristic world using every mode of transportation – from autonomous cars to e-bikes – earning tokens for each mobility decision they make. Still other experiences provide entertainment. In Mustang over Manhattan, guests use a virtual reality headset to build a Mustang atop the Empire State Building, while their friends watch the build come together on a digital screen.

FordGuides – experts not only on the space itself, but knowledgeable about Ford vehicles and innovations – are stationed throughout to answer questions and assist guests.

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Dynamic space encourages new ideas

As times change and innovations evolve, so, too, will FordHub. Over time, Ford will collaborate with communities, thought leaders, artists and others to introduce new interactive programs.

“We see this as an active, dynamic space, featuring innovations we have today and others we are exploring for tomorrow,” said Elena Ford. “We want consumers to join us and be part of creating the world’s mobility solutions.”

Along with the FordHub opening, Ford is kicking off the Mobilize New York Challenge – an innovation challenge designed to stimulate new ideas and find ways to help New Yorkers get around easier and faster. Offering more than $30,000 in cash prizes, individuals are invited to submit proposals to solve the city’s transportation challenges.

Ford Launches FordHub Just In Time For Super Bowl LI
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Super Bowl ad focuses on Ford’s auto and mobility future

Ford also today is revealing a new 90-second ad that – for the first time ever – highlights near- and long-term mobility solutions it is developing to help people Go Further in their daily lives.

The ad launches just before kickoff of Super Bowl LI on Sunday. The spot showcases moments in which people have become “stuck” in life. It then showcases Ford solutions – including self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing – to help people move freely again.

Digital extensions of the ad also debut at fordgofurther.com, featuring in-depth stories of Ford people who Go Further every day. Those featured include employees, dealers and partners who create the vehicles, technologies and mobility solutions Ford is working on today and tomorrow.

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