Automotive manufacturer Ford continues to be a driving force—pun intended—behind the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
The American-made car brand returned as the exclusive car sponsor of the festival in New Orleans for an eighth year, this time bringing Emmy-nominated talk show host/comedienne Loni Love as their celebrity ambassador. Love, who is currently featured in several commercial campaigns for Ford, helped the car company give away a brand-new 2018 Ford Mustang to one of three contestants.
The Hollywood funny woman and Ford executive Raj Register presented the lucky winner with the car on the main stage of the festival on Sunday night before Chance The Rapper headlined the show.
Over in the Essence Festival Expo, the company known for vehicles like the Taurus, Fiesta, Expedition, Focus, Explorer and Edge had a huge family block party-themed exhibit space at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
Ford also showcased its latest lineup of vehicles including the 2017 Ford Fusion and all-new Ford GT supercar.
In addition to partaking in the various offerings of the booth, the more than 470,000 attendees at the Essence Festival were able to sign up for Ford’s “Ride and Drive” at the expo booth, which offered attendees a chance to test drive some of the Ford vehicles. Additionally, festival-goers who signed up to test drive a Ford vehicle and opted-in to MyFord Magazine received a $750 bonus cash offer on the purchase of a new Ford vehicle.
As part of their initiative to support breast cancer awareness, the Ford Warriors in Pink were on hand during the expo. For each of the first 250 test drives completed during the festival, Warriors in Pink donated $20 to Young Survival Coalition. Ford has been championing the fight against breast cancer for 23 years and to date has donated more than $130 million to the cause.
An added attracted to the Ford booth is always the SiriusXM broadcast. The platform’s urban driven networks like The Heat, Kirk Franklin’s Praise and my favorite, Heart & Soul broadcasted for the duration of the festival and had a bevy of talent participate in live interviews on the stage in front of the audience. Artists like Chaka Khan, Tank, LeToya Luckett and Ro James; in addition to the casts of “Star,” “Survivor’s Remorse,” “Power” and the movie “Girls Trip” all stopped by to talk to radio personalities like Michel Wright, Cayman Kelly and Dion Summers.
Ford also hosted Super Lounge performances at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome where talent like Ro James, Yuna, Jhene Aiko, Daley, Shaggy and others performed.
The company capped off their Essence Festival experience by hosting a private dinner at Emeril’s Delmonico for select media guests, Influencers, Essence editors and Ford executives.
“Creating memories and reconnecting friends young and old, Essence Festival is a destination event in a family-friendly environment, so it made perfect sense to have the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition on display,” said Register, Ford Multicultural Communications Manager. “With our theme ‘Summer Friends,’ our near-10-year partnership with Essence continues to provide us the opportunity to connect with the African-American community summer after summer.”
VIDEO: Watch one of Loni Love’s commercials with Ford called “Carpoolin’ With Loni Love: Plan the Perfect Road Trip.”