Our Stories, Ford built for promos

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Our Stories Films, a new venture from BET founder Robert Johnson and Harvey and Bob Weinstein, on Thursday announced an exclusive, multiyear marketing alliance with Ford Motor Co. that includes script integration, product placement, sponsorships, merchandising and movie promotions.

"Who's Your Caddy?" — the first film to be released by Our Stories Films — opens nationwide today. It stars actor-rapper Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and features the Ford Range Rover, though the integration did not come about as a result of the new marketing deal.

"Ford is very excited about this new multilevel partnership with Our Stories Films," said Alessandro Uzielli, senior adviser global brand entertainment group at Ford Motor Co. "Engaging our consumers has for us been about creating new and innovative approaches to reaching our audience. This branded entertainment opportunity with Our Stories Films allows Ford to showcase the wide array of personalities of the Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles and essentially tell 'our story' to a targeted audience."

Our Stories Films was launched last year to produce and distribute black and urban family-themed comedies. "Our historic partnership with Ford represents a new day in the marketing of filmed entertainment to urban audiences," said Johnson, now chairman and CEO at RLJ Cos. "We look forward to featuring Ford brands in our films and activating Ford's extensive marketing resources to reach urban moviegoers."

UniWorld Group, the Ford division's black agency of record, worked with Ford and Our Stories Films in negotiating the exclusive deal. UniWorld Group will collaborate with both companies to place Ford vehicles and develop Ford's marketing strategy for movies produced by Our Stories Films.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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