If I learned anything from a recent trip to the Muskokas, it’s that Ford is great at making SUVs!
Sure, the Sport/Suburban Utility Vehicle might not be everyone’s first choice when shopping for a new ride, but if they’re not, they are missing out! SUVs are growing in popularity worldwide as drivers seek more flexibility and utility from their vehicles, no longer content with options that do the bare minimum. We don’t just want to get from A to B anymore—we’re doing it with our groceries. Our furniture. Our ski gear. And our babies. We need vehicles that grow with us—not ones left behind as our circumstances change.
And perhaps that’s why SUVs stand as the top-selling vehicle segment in Canada and the US—heck; Ford sold 1.7 million of them in 2016 alone! As the #1 SUV brand for seven years running (with an eighth hot on their heels), I’d say Ford knows what it’s doing—which is why they’re introducing five new SUVs by 2020, including the Ford EcoScport compact utility and the all-new Ford Expedition! With Ford’s global SUV sales growing a staggering 80% these past five years, ain’t no stoppin’ ’em now!
But that’s only part of the story—I could go blue in the face telling you about the thousands of features that go into making Ford’s SUVs top-notch, but you don’t want stuff you could lift from a spec sheet… you want to see how they work in the real world.
And that’s exactly what Ford Canada challenged us to discover this past summer!
You were a real pain in the rear, you know that? With temperatures plunging into the negative 30s, the blogosphere in a quiet lull as the influencers hibernate, and motivation at a standstill as the deadly winter saps the life from everyone it touches, you’re only four weeks long, but easily one of the hardest months to endure.
I haven’t been out to the Detroit-Windsor corridor since late 2008, when my brother-in-law got married there and only 9 months into dating, Sarah led me into an ambush, seating me at a table with many of her paternal uncles and cousins who I’d meet for the very first time. (Quite the feat to make a good impression while hungover, but that, my friends, is a story for another time!)
This year, they kicked it up a notch by invited me as one of a dozen Canadian bloggers as their guest at Putting You In The Driver’s Seat: the NAIAS Blogger Experience, which revolved aroundthe 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.
Even though Maverick PR’s #OpenEnvelope-inspiring tweet likely got some would-be attendees to stay in and out of the cold of Snowmageddon, if there’s one thing that I’ve learned about Ford Canada, it’s this — they definitely know how to throw an event!
How far will you go to party?
Though many weren’t willing to brave Snowmageddon to attend “another social media event”, I’ll be one to tell them that they missed out! It was a testament to tenacity on Friday, February 8th, as a number of us made it out to Ford Canada’s Blue Party! Held at the Sound Academy on the south end of Toronto, the Blue Party was all about bringing a number of Toronto bloggers together to see the unveiling of the 2014 Ford Fiesta, a fuel-efficient hatchback with a slick look to it!
Not one to waste time questioning messages from people I know, I sent it along, not knowing what would come next.
What did come next was this —
Didn’t see this coming, but was happy to receive it!
Snowmageddon be damned, the party was still alive and kicking!
I was fortunate enough to get a ride there with my friend Christine, but even if you weren’t driving in, Ford even hooked it up with a shuttle service to the venue:
Shuttle pickup at 630-7 UnionSTN ACC entrance, look for Black Expedition with Ford Oval in windshield #FordBlueTO
With one of the most painless check-in processes I’d ever seen, we got our badges, checked out coats, posed for pictures — and got greeted by members of the Ford Canada team and glasses of the Blue Grand Margarita (the event’s dangerously addictive drink of choice) as soon as we got in the door!
The sign at the front was only the beginning of what was to come!
I was wearing too many layers, but the fact that the badge was magnetized help stop many a nice outfit from being ruined with pinholes!
I won’t lie. It was delicious. (1/2 oz blue curacao, 1/4 oz tequila + lime juice)
No matter where you looked, there was something you could do:
Catch up With Friends
It was good hanging with Christine again, and catching up with the likes of Alexa and Zach with many other friends in the house 🙂
It takes two, baby…
Zach and Dan on a couch. Talking about who knows what. I’d probably know if I went to A Sponsored Life and looked for the February 9th podcast…
She didn’t need it, but Chris looked SUPER-awesome after her complimentary makeover!
Christine had done her hair and makeup before the event, but decided to get a touch-up!
This was Rosie’s first social media-related event, and I think she got RIGHT into it! There’s a car there too, in case you didn’t see it 😉
But in all honesty, it was really cool that they gave you the option of sharing the photos immediately from the event. SUPER-cool!
One day, Sarah’s going to go through my site in detail and see all these mysterious photos with random women. Hazards of the occupation! Occupation: Wearing sequins!
Gaming and Leisure
One corner held games and grooming, with a foosball table, two games offering head-to-head racing competition, and stations for manicures, makeover and massages (oh my!)
Boys and their Toys
Ford displayed choice cars all over the floor, with detailed specs for each so you could understand what you could come to expect by being a Ford owner:
Both my father and father-in-law saw this and immediately wanted to take it for a spin. Get in line, sirs. Get in line.
It was good to get up close and personal with so many of the Ford vehicles — they’d even lift the hood for you if you wanted to see what was going on underneath!
The food — oh my goodness, I don’t know who they got to cater this, but the food was delicious. I had Justin jealous with the livetweeting of everything I was cramming down my throat, and he’s lucky that there was so much sensory overload going on all night, or there would’ve been plenty more:
A whimsical display of lollipop heaven! Featuring a tasty display of our famous sweet lollipops: cheesecake lollipops, brownie and blondie lollipops, and strawberry lollipops!
Mini Polish perogies stuffed with cheese and potatio filling and topped with cheddar, green onions and a dollop of chipotle sour cream
Bourbon based ribs on purple potato salad in sweet onion dressing
Snow crab, shrimp and mussels with pickled daikon, pink grapefruit and cucumber, nestled on organic greens dressed in a citrus vinaigrette
Cheddar triangles with garlic butter and tomato (Vegetarian)
Slider burgers served in a miniature hamburger bun with shredded lettuce, sliced pickles and Thousand Island dressing
Crisp milanesh chicken, salted fresh cheese, chipotle avocado cream on a petit onion challah
Sweet potato and Yukon gold fries topped with Quebec cheese curds and roasted vegetable gravy
If this picture doesn’t make you want cupcakey goodness, something is WRONG with you.
I’m glad that they weren’t marshmallow, because they were AWESOME as cheesecake 😀
So many desserts, so little room after so much food…
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Battle of the Bands, so the sequined vest sat in the closet, waiting to come out and play. The Ford Blue Party was the perfect opportunity to do so, and I think it worked out quite well!
Music and Entertainment
The dance moves of the Mayhem Dance Group and Kiss 92.5’s DJ Clymaxxx on the 1s and 2s made sure that this party was happening.
It’s like a human centipede… but you know, a lot more dancing and less gross stuff.
That’s what’s up.
The Mayhem Dance Group got it going on!
As the night went on, DJ Clymaxxx spun better and better, eventually hitting some Boyz II Men, New Edition and Biggie Smalls from the 90s. Well done, sir. Well done.
SOMEONE BREAK OUT THE FORD SIGNAL!!!
When I win, TeamTrolling wins
One of the unexpected twists of the night was winning a pair of wicked tickets to a Toronto Raptors game — all for dancing; something I would’ve done anyway. It’s like I say: there’s no reward for the timid. Life isn’t going to hook you up for standing on the wall and trying to look “cool” — get in there and show the world what you’ve got! With that said, thank you Ford Canada for the tickets — Justin and I had a great time — but more on that later!!!
In case you need context for just how awesome these seats were, check this out to see Section 108, Row 14:
And of course, the 2014 Ford Fiesta
I’d drive it 🙂
I’d drive it 🙂
With Ford doing such a great job at engaging existing car lovers as well as trying to find new demographics, it’s great that the car looks as good as it does! With Sarah and I looking to buy a car in 2013, Ford’s made itself a contender, and I’ll be happy to spread the message of all they’re doing to adapt to an ever-changing world of social engagement. It’s good that there was a message behind all the lights and glamour, though…
The Overall Messages
The Ford Canada team made sure that we wouldn’t be drinking and driving, offering shuttle rides home to anyone in need, and making sure that everyone knew their limit. On top of that, we weren’t beholden to write anything, but from what I’ve seen, people are sharing the message because they had a great time. Of course, when a party is invite-only, it has its share of haters, as seen in the screen cap below:
To the haters, here’s a message — you receive from social media what you put in to it. I mean this on two fronts — put negativity and snide remarks in, you’re going to get the same back. People generally extend a hand to those who they can respect and build relationships with. Why would you want to keep someone around who’s just bringing negative attitude and poisonous words to the table? Also, if you think you should be entitled to attend an event because you’ve already invested in the group holding it, prove your worth. Write blogs about your experiences. Make videos of other friends giving products a try. Shouting at the top of the mountain that you’ve been overlooked or wronged only makes you look like a complainer, which brings us right back to the negative energy point. Be part of the solution, not the problem.
All in all, I’m happy that Ford Canada invited me to 2013’s Blue Party, and I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the year’s events!
How did YOU guys spend Snowmageddon?
Thanks for reading, guys!
Tell your wife, tell your kids, tell your husbands: