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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Ford | Welcome To The Club: Mustang Mafia

Finalist in Branded Content, Auto, Multicultural Community Engagement

Bronze Honor in Long Form Video


This is a story about good guys with bad cars.

The idea driving our work is to explore and celebrate the intersection of car culture and community impact. Specifically, we set out to showcase a multicultural community of Ford owners to authentically tell their story through long-form video and branded content. 

On a mission to dive deep into a car club with powerful roots, Ford met Mustang Mafia, a vibrant car club based in New Orleans but with over 340 members nationwide. Founded by Bert G. who was inspired by his grandmother's charitable work, Mustang Mafia stands out for its dedication to both the Mustang brand and community service.

Our project, 'Welcome to the Club,' embodies our approach to human-first, brand storytelling. We aim to spotlight the people, passion, and purpose that drive car culture within a community. Mustang Mafia's story perfectly encapsulates this ethos, showcasing their unwavering commitment to inspiring their community and giving back to their city.


Strategy and Execution

To bring our project to life, we adopted a narrative-led and craft-obsessed approach that centered around a central long-form film, translated into bite-sized chapters across channels. This approach involved seamlessly integrating our campaign across various platforms, blurring the lines between traditional campaigns and social media to tell a human-first story.

Our objective was to elevate Ford-branded content by moving away from traditional, product-centric, and sales-driven messaging, instead infusing it with human and multicultural stories deeply tied to the brand. We drew inspiration from editorial content from media publishers, rather than following the conventions of our industry peers.

Our main storytelling medium was a long-form film complemented by nearly 40 pieces of supporting content. In this film, we highlighted how Mustang Mafia uses their vehicles to bring people together to serve the youth of New Orleans. The rollout of our campaign was comprehensive, spanning across Ford's social media platforms. One of our key initiatives was the collaboration with Settlemier's Jackets to create a limited edition 'Founder's Jacket' for Bert, the founding member of Mustang Mafia. This collaboration not only extended the impact of our work but also served as a tangible symbol of our appreciation for Bert's dedication and leadership within the community.

A challenge we faced was ensuring that Ford vehicles were integral to the story in an authentic way that did not feel like product placement. We captured all of the humanity in this slice-of-life film directed by Jared Malik Royal, a young up-and-coming filmmaker at RSA Pictures. Jared ensured beautiful textural, meditative shots were placed between burnouts and high-speed shots of Ford vehicles. The film culminates with a heartwarming gifting moment where Bert and Mustang Mafia donate an older Ford Mustang to a local high school’s auto program.





Video for Ford | Welcome To The Club: Mustang Mafia

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wieden+Kennedy New York, Ford


Entry Credits