Ford Touts F-150 Lightning with AR Experience


With more than 160,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning truck, Ford has created the “F-150 Lightning: Strike Anywhere” augmented reality  3D experience in collaboration with Google to excite and educate customers. (Ford)

By Jessica Shea Choksey

As excitement for the Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck ramps up, the automaker has brought forth a new augmented reality (AR) experience to help educate consumers on the many benefits of the wildly anticipated all-electric truck offering. Developed in conjunction with Google, “F-150 Lightning: Strike Anywhere” is a smartphone-based application featuring 3D animations of the truck’s key features and technologies. Ford currently has a staggering 160,000 reservations for the Lightning.

Essentially a high-tech marketing tool, “Strike Anywhere” offers 13 interactive animations focused on F-150 Lightning highlights. Animations include its mega power frunk (front trunk), battery range, interior connectivity, smart bed and towing capabilities, charging solutions, and ProPower Onboard functionality as a potential home backup power source. Users will also have the ability to select their favorite color and trim package—base, XLT, Lariat, Platinum—and “place” their truck in their own personalized virtual environment (home, job site, a mountain trailhead, etc.).

The Google Cloud-powered AR experience is most readily accessible on Android and iOS mobile devices. Knowledge-hungry shoppers can also access the immersive experience on Ford’s consumer website,, and social media platforms, including YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Other brands, such as Volvo with its XC90 Experience, have utilized AR in their past vehicle marketing efforts, but this would be the first such large-scale initiative for a soon-to-launch production electric vehicle (EV).

Ford’s informative approach aims at familiarizing vehicle buyers with not just the Lightning pickup but with the EV experience altogether, still a relatively unknown space for many new-car shoppers. To that, a recent Ford survey of F-150 Lightning reservation holders indicates nearly 80 percent have never previously owned a hybrid or all-electric vehicle.

At the same time, Google research reports some 58 percent of American car consumers who plan to buy in the next six months are considering purchasing a battery-electric vehicle (BEV). The same data says 83 percent of car shoppers will research cars for up to three months before committing to a lease or a purchase, indicating that most consumers prioritize making an informed buying decision.

“There is a tremendous amount of intrigue about what electric vehicles can do,” said Suzy Deering, chief marketing officer, Ford Motor Company. “At Ford, we want to show, not just tell, since we believe educating customers on the full potential and capabilities of electric vehicles helps them make the transition from traditionally powered vehicles to all-electric ones. Nearly 80 percent of our F-150 Lightning reservation holders have never owned an all-electric vehicle before, so we created this campaign for them to understand and feel confident in their vehicle while also being excited to join in on the electric revolution with us.”

The Ford F-150 Lightning is the electrified version of the brand’s best-selling, 14th-generation F-Series truck. The dual-motor all-wheel-drive Lightning promises an all-electric driving range of 230-300 miles while delivering 563 horsepower and a heavy-duty 775 pound-feet of torque. The base price will be $39,974, with higher power/trim/range models priced up to $90,000. The F-150 Lightning will arrive in the second quarter of 2022.