DEARBORN — Ford is teaming up with NBC and an eight-time Emmy Award-winning reality producer to create “Escape Routes,” a prime-time reality TV show that will air on Saturday nights on NBC and mun2 beginning March 31.
“Escape Routes” is a new interactive reality series that will feature a cast of six teams of two participating in a unique road-trip competition with real-world challenges featuring the all-new Ford Escape.
“This is the first time an automaker has used prime-time television to launch a new vehicle and it is a great showcase for the all-new Escape,” said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president for Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “‘Escape Routes” builds on the success of Ford’s previous social engagement programs and takes it to the next level with TV. This is another example of the innovative ways Ford is reaching consumers.”
The show will air for six consecutive episodes and is hosted by reality TV show personality Rossi Morreale who has hosted a variety of network and cable TV programs. The show airs Saturday evenings at 8 pm on NBC and will also air on mun2, the leading bicultural cable network for young Latino Americans, Saturday nights at 11 pm. This is the first time Ford will air a series using both a general market broadcast and bilingual cable network. Each episode will also air on nbc.com and mun2.tv the day after the broadcast.
“At NBC, we continue to look for breakthrough ways to work with our partners and the ‘Escape Routes’ program was a unique opportunity that we hadn’t seen before,” said James Hoffman, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, NBC. “We’re excited about the show and think the concept of ‘Escape Routes’ and its unique use of social media will add a compelling element to Saturday nights.”
“Escape Routes” will be produced by eight-time Emmy Award-winning producer Elise Doganieri in addition to David Leener from the Profiles Television team.
“We are excited to be partnering with Ford on this groundbreaking series,” said Doganieri. “There are two key elements to this series: first, the interactive element, which is designed to engage viewers throughout the show and encourage them to participate in the challenges; and second, the real-time twist where consumers have the ability to follow their favorite team in the digital space. We’ve enjoyed collaborating with Ford on this project and feel the end result has the potential to be a real game-changer in the reality world.”
“Escape Routes” is another step forward for Ford in merging product into new media.
“Ford has been in the original content space for a while, and we continuously look for opportunities to work with creative partners in a collaborative way,” said Farley. “For us, this is a natural progression from integrating product into existing programs to creating our own.”
“Escape Routes” is a unique road-trip competition with real-world challenges featuring the all-new Ford Escape. Each week, the six two-person teams will arrive in a new city where they compete in a series of spontaneous adventures and interactive challenges using their Escapes.
The journey begins in Los Angeles before heading to New York, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Las Vegas/L.A. Each stop will engage the online followers and tap into the fabric of the local culture. Viewers will be able to interact with and compete alongside the six teams throughout their adventures at escaperoutes.com.
“Escape Routes” is designed to give our audience an unprecedented level of engagement,” said Doganieri. “Not only will viewers be able to follow along in real time, but followers will have the ability to impact the outcome of the game.”
Internet personality, iJustine (ijustine.com), will be embedded with the teams on “Escape Routes” and capture exclusive behind-the-scenes content that will be distributed through his or her social graph as well as other earned and owned platforms.
The cast and America’s choice
The winning team will receive the $100,000 grand prize plus two new Ford Escapes. Online participants can win trips, high-tech gadgets and a brand-new Escape. Those teams are:
Bre and Tara, best friends and soul mates from Boulder, Colo.
Derek and Drew, musician brothers from Seattle
Iris and Terrence, best friends from L.A.
Brett and Ross, two YouTubers from L.A.
Sharon and Wilson, a brother and sister from Florida
Additionally, Ford selected four teams to compete for the last spot in “Escape Routes” and online voters selected Tiffany and Chekesha, two models from New York, to be the sixth team.
The all-new Escape
Last fall, Ford kicked off “Escape Routes” in L.A. with actress Jenny McCarthy competing against the entire country in the world’s largest Words With Friends game. Ford joined with Zynga, the world’s largest social game developer, to reveal the Escape through social gaming. Now teamed with NBC, “Escape Routes” will launch the new vehicle, which will appear in dealerships this spring.
The all-new Escape is Ford’s newest sport utility vehicle. Nearly 2 million Escapes have been sold since the model was first introduced a decade ago, making it the best-selling small SUV in the United States. The new SUV has 11 exclusive features, including the class-exclusive hands-free liftgate, as well as fuel economy projected to top any vehicle of its kind on the market today.