Website of the Week (Week 110)

Pocket Mustang

We’ve all been a toy car stunt driver at some point in our lives, haven’t we? If that’s something you missed out on as a child, do not fear…

Ford’s new ‘Pocket Mustang’ web app brings back nostalgia for the good old days; when a car smaller than your hand could be rocketed from the arm of a chair all the way to a coffee table at the opposite end of the room, gravity had no place in the world and pretty much anything was possible.

The application itself is very linear in terms of your journey through the site. The primary focus of the homepage is the ‘Pocket Mustang’ title, set in a diagonally slanted block typeface that brings to mind muscle car adverts from the 60s and 70s. This branded title (topped off by the mustang horse logo and underlined by the tagline ‘Unleash Your Inner Mustang, Anywhere’) is atop a sandy background covered in tyre skid lines. A cheeky miniature mustang continuously drives in and out of view, around and on top of the app title.

Your only option from this page is to click the ‘Let’s Drive’ button and begin your experience. This leads you onto a set of ‘How to Play’ instructions with clear, animated instructions. The instructions are easy to swipe through and presented over a worn wood background that reflects the rustic outback quality used throughout (or maybe it’s just to show you how your wooden tables could look if you use the app too much).

Once you know how to play, you’re ready and raring to go; but first you need to choose the colour of your car. You can view your mustang from three different angles and use a circular slider to switch between colours. The colour selector is might be more complicated than it needs to be, but the circular shape feels high tech and almost futuristic somehow, which definitely adds a little something to the experience.

Next step, enter your name (this is important; you’ll find out why soon), tick the terms and conditions box and tap ‘Next’.

You are now ready to play. As your experience loads a mini mustang creates a loading circle as entertaining tongue-in-cheek messages such as ‘clean your coffee table while you wait’ appear. It’s one of the most delightful loading screen experiences I’ve seen, keeping you entertained while you wait instead of causing frustration or boredom.

Once loaded, a set of instructions appear out of a cloud of dust, telling you how to test drive and record your run. To drive your car around you must lay it on a flat surface and simply slide it around as if it were a toy car. As you slide the device around, the car on screen twists and turns as you do and creates skid marks and dust clouds as you turn corners, helping your imagination take you into the mind set of a stunt driver.

After you’ve had a test drive it’s time to press the big red record button. This records you for 10 seconds as you perform your slickest dounts, drifts and zig zags across your coffee table.

When your 10 seconds are up you are shown a line drawing of the route your car drove and given the option to see what achievements you’ve unlocked. Achievement badges are given for specific moves like ‘donuts’ and ‘fishtails’, a kind of gamification that keeps you wanting more!

Your drive then gets converted into a real life video. The video starts with shots of a group of mustangs in a hangar, one of which has a helmet sitting next it with your name on it. This personalisation of the video is ingenious as it really adds a level of extra excitement and increases the desire to share your video.

The rest of the video is made up of selected of clips taken from real life mustang stunt drives, peppered with shots of the actual route your car drove to add another layer of personalisation.

Once the video is over your choices are to watch it again, drive again or share your video with the world.

I love this experience for the nostalgia of getting back to childhood for a while and doing something just for the sake of having fun. Ford have created an experience that I feel people will actually want to share, which can only be positive for the brand profile of the Mustang. Visit the website here.