While the electrified car is still a fuzzy concept to most consumers -- presented to the mainstream usually as a list of mileage figures and fossil-fuelish statistics -- Ford wants to take a cozier, more user-friendly approach.
Citing research indicating that nearly half of potential American car buyers don't know the difference among a hybrid, a plug-in car or a battery-operated fully electric one, Ford has enlisted SHFT.com, a "new-media platform" developed by actor Adrian Grenier of "Entourage" fame and film producer Peter Glatzer, to promote green thoughts and eco-consciousness to a young audience.
Ford is funding a series of short documentaries for the site, whose purpose is to push forward concepts of sustainability by using elements of pop culture such as film, music and design.
The documentaries will look at innovators "shaping sustainable businesses," and SHFT will collaborate with Ford to promote the brand at events such as film festivals.
"SHFT.com celebrates businesses where great design, sustainability and innovation meet, which is why we are so excited to be forging this relationship with Ford," said Grenier.
Ford is about to start the rollout of its electric Focus hatchback in 19 selected markets nationwide, and although it goes for $39,000-plus (before federal tax rebate), the company sees the SHFT alliance as a way to shape the attitudes of millennials and help demystify electrified mobility.
In a related matter, Ford last week was selected as a Nielsen Automotive Green Marketer of the Year for emphasizing miles-per-gallon messaging in its advertising this year. Other finalists were Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet and Hyundai. The award was presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show.