Ford unveils virtual launch of electric car for consumers to test drive without leaving their home

In partnership with Imagination, Ford has set out to redefine brand experience in the automotive industry with the online launch of its first volume passenger electric car designed and built in Europe.

Experience design agency Imagination has introduced Ford’s new all-electric Explorer SUV with a brand-first digital driving experience to set a new standard for brand experience in the automotive industry.

The interactive campaign saw Imagination flip the traditional in-person car reveal on its head and produce an immersive virtual event for the vehicle’s unveiling.

Powered by pixel-streaming technology from gaming platform Unreal Engine, Imagination created a high-fidelity virtual world to generate a hyperreal digital environment for an interactive metaverse experience. The virtual technology allows consumers to test drive a product that doesn’t yet exist, from the comfort of their home.

Peter Zillig, Marketing Director, Ford in Europe, said: “The reveal of the new electric Explorer SUV is a milestone moment in our journey to an all-electric future in Europe, featuring cutting-edge Hollywood-style CGI and a pixel-streamed virtual test drive. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to create meaningful connections with potential customers.”

Virtual reveal

The launch will take place in three stages, having begun on 21 March with a live seven-minute virtual reveal on LinkedIn featuring photoreal CGI content starring Lexi “Limitless” Alford, the youngest person to travel to every country in the world..

Watch the virtual reveal here

Stage two has seen viewers gain the opportunity to get behind the wheel themselves in an immersive Virtual Test Drive to get to know the car through interactive participation.

Try the virtual test drive here

Imagination will seek to capitalise on the momentum gained from the first two stages by sharing content across Ford’s social channels encouraging people to visit its website to book reservations to drive the physical car once it’s available.

James Keane, Creative Director, Imagination, added: “When we were asked to support the reveal of the new all-electric Explorer SUV, we knew we had to deliver something that hasn’t been done before, and at scale, to create a lasting impact. Our digital launch has demonstrated Ford’s vision for the industry and resonates with its European brand narrative.”