A single mom and a 2013 Ford Fusion fall in love and agree to meet in a Ford dealer later this year — but will it happen?
You’ll have to wait for the movie.
A few days ago I was lucky enough to fly to Detroit for the Ford NAIAS Innovation and Design Fantasy Camp. While I’d been prepared to enjoy myself, I never expected to be swept off my feet. By the end of my trip, Ford and I were engulfed in a love affair to remember.
The flirtation started during our group dinner at the Henry Ford Museum. I walked in unsure of what we’d be allowed to see there. I was ridiculously happy when I realized Ford was in no way, shape, or form going to be a cheap date. They allowed all of us free reign over the ENTIRE museum. That’s right, we had it ALL to ourselves. I could’ve spent hours walking around looking at the different exhibits. I’m not ashamed to admit that I geeked out a few times.
Like when I saw the WienerMobile…
And the actual car that JFK was assassinated in…
But the exhibits were just the beginning of our already awesome first date. Next Ford treated me to an exorbitant buffet of food and cocktails while I listened to the passionate, driven and, dare I say, good-looking people behind the company talk more about what myself and the rest of the bloggers were in store for over the next 2-days.
I was even lucky enough to have Paul Russell, one of the men behind the Ford Focus, sit at my table for dinner. That in itself was a huge treat as he gave me some one-on-one insight on the Ford brand and the inside scoop on what not to miss during NAIAS the next day.
It was crystal clear through the speeches and my interactions with everyone that evening that the Ford Motor Company is really a family and they had let us into their home with open arms. When a company is trusting enough to put their fate in the hands of a bunch of bloggers, it says a lot about them. I think that was the quality that attracted me the most to Ford that evening.
I left dinner that night with a skip in my step and a grin on my face, even without a goodnight kiss. My first date with Ford will forever go down in history as one of the best first dates I’ve ever had.
Our second date was at 6:30am the next day when we met in the lobby of The Henry hotel. To say I was tired would be an understatement so impressing me on our second date wasn’t going to be easy.
Yet once again, Ford blew me away during the North American International Auto Show that day.
First it was when they shuffled us into the Joe Louis Arena at Cobo Hall for the Ford Press Conference. The excitement that morning was unbelievable, as we all waited for the unveiling of the 2013 Ford Fusion. Hundreds of us sat with baited breath as the new Ford Fusion drove through the darkness and fog machines into the packed arena.
And then our minds were blown by its sleek redesign…
Afterwards I walked around the auto show floor and made my way to the Ford stand where they had a special blogger post set up just for us, complete with charging stations for all of our electronics. Sitting behind the velvet ropes, as passer-by wondered what made us so special, made me feel like a rockstar.
VIP treatment from Ford, priceless.
Throughout the day executives from Ford Motor Company came to speak with with us and answer our questions about all things Ford and Ford Fusion.
Here is Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally getting up close and personal with my fellow bloggers.
Have a question? They had an answer, and always with a smile. By the end of the afternoon I felt like I’d gotten to know the Ford brand personally and developed a true admiration for the cars they design and the core values that the people who work for them stand behind. Prior to the auto show I’d been brainwashed by bad press to believe that American cars were inferior to their foreign counterparts, but after spending the day learning about the Ford brand, exploring and being face to face with their vehicles, and really getting to know the individuals behind the company, I knew my preconceived notions had been wrong.
After our day at the auto show, my second date with Ford continued with dinner and Ignite presentations from my fellow bloggers at Ford World Headquarters.
The Ignite presentations were one of my favorite things about the entire 2-day event because it allowed bloggers to be the stars of the show while sharing some of their passions with us in a really cool and innovative way.
An Ignite presentation is five minutes long and consists of twenty prepared slides. As the slides you’ve created are projected on the stage behind you, you give your presentation and tell your story. Topics ranged from “How To Win At Scrabble” to “How To Keep Your Kids From Seeing Naked Ladies On YouTube.” They were funny, creative and extremely entertaining.
Especially after two cocktails.
It truly felt like a night of celebration as we toasted the achievements of Ford and their 2013 Ford Fusion at the auto show like a family. 40% of the social media mentions coming out of NAIAS on Press Day were about Ford. How huge is that?! And a large part of it was due to invited bloggers Tweeting, Facebooking and Instagraming away during the Ford NAIAS events. It truly felt like we’d all accomplished something amazing that day, together.
I’ll admit I was slightly bummed when I went back to my hotel room again without a kiss goodnight, but I was still smitten with Ford nonetheless.
Our final date was a trip to Ford’s Product Development Center and Research Center where I was able to go behind the scenes and see how Ford comes up with new designs, tests them out and implements them. From insanely high-tech digital design tools to good old fashioned clay modeling, Ford cuts no corners when it comes to designing new vehicles and making sure they are safe for the people who drive them.
The day’s festivities even included an “Innovating through Design” panel featuring Evan Orensten, Scott Belsky, Joel Piaskowski from Ford and Adam Volker. Let me tell you, there was a whole lot of brains AND beauty going on in that panel.
After several hours of touring and exploring, and one last delicious lunch, it was time for Ford and I to say our final goodbyes.
I left a little piece of my heart with Ford Motor Company in Detroit that day.
I still never got that goodnight kiss, but we promised to reunite later this year when I head to my local Ford dealer to test drive the 2013 Ford Fusion.
After my experience and the Ford-tastic knowledge I gained during Ford NAIAS, there’s not a doubt in my mind that my next car with be a Ford.
Want to find out which Ford I have my heart set on and which Ford vehicle I think is the best overall choice for a single parent? Stay tuned for my next post where I break three different Ford vehicles down for you, Single Mom Drives style!
Disclosure: Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Innovation and Design Fantasy Camp event. I was not compensated in a ny other manner for my time. My opinions posted here are my own.