Posted by Dale Buss on April 15, 2013 05:33 PM
Even before it's clear whether Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla actually wears the crown of the world's best-selling car, Ford is wasting no time in pivoting into its new "And Not Or" advertising campaign in the US, while Toyota is gamely trying to get ahead of a huge recall of airbags in its vehicles, which also have affected four other brands—but not Ford.
In fact, Focus is the—er, focus—of one of the first three TV ads in Ford's new marketing campaign, which begin airing April 16 on various programs on the big three broadcast networks and were first shared exclusively with brandchannel.
In the Focus spot, consumers are shown what it would be like to have to choose "sweet or sour" chicken and reminded to be grateful that it's sweet and sour—and that Focus doesn't make them choose between good fuel economy and the convenience of voice-activated Sync infotainment. Likewise, consumers are spared from having to stay at "bed or breakfast" spots, just as the Ford Escape allows them both fuel economy and the convenience of a foot-activated rear liftgate; and Ford Explorer provides great mileage as well as seven-passenger seating, similar to a wet and wild tourist attraction.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 19, 2013 04:06 PM
The Ford family brand is taking on a new sheen as the great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford—Elena Ford—has been promoted higher in Ford Motor Co. than any family member in history—and her new responsibilities come in the increasingly important area of global dealer and consumer experience.
The former director of global marketing operations, now vice president, joins cousin Bill Ford, executive chairman and cousin Edsel Ford, a director of the company, which is controlled by family members who hold veto power with Class B voting shares. Bill Ford had risen to CEO of the company in 2006 and then demonstrated some of the legendary family smarts by hiring Alan Mulally from Boeing to become the new CEO and take the company to the next level. That's exactly what Mulally has done in setting Ford back on the path of long-term prosperity.
Elena will now have a role that promises to be increasingly crucial, not only to Ford but in an area where all its competitors are striving as well: ensuring that customers experience the brand in a consistently satisfactory way. Having been part of last year's "Go Further" dealer roadshow, she'll now oversee global dealer strategy, planning, training and consumer experience and report to Ford CMO Jim Farley. Among other things, she will oversee plans to introduce the Lincoln brand to China next year.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2012 12:43 PM
Ford sales inched ahead in September largely due to two increasingly important sub-brands: the 2013 Ford Escape, and EcoBoost engines.
Both Escape and EcoBoost rose with a bullet during the month, with sales of the newly overhauled, iconic utility vehicle rising by nearly 15 percent over last year's sales of an earlier generation of the nameplate. It was the best-ever September for Escape.
And about 90 percent of Escapes sold came equipped with an EcoBoost engine, the Ford technology that allows a turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder engine to yield the same power — with improved mileage — of a six-cylinder of yore. In addition to traditional marketing, Ford is promoting the 2013 Escape with a branded entertainment project: "Escape My Life," a web series now rolling out on the models' YouTube channel.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 10, 2012 02:55 PM
Despite the growing stagnation of the European auto market, worries that it won't improve anytime soon, and huge financial tolls that slumping sales are taking on just about every automaker selling on the continent, General Motors and Ford have surprised some industry followers in recent days by re-committing to the future of their brands in Europe.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally hosted a "more than a tagline" Go Further event in Amsterdam last week to unveil their new lineup to its European dealers. And Michael Lohscheller, new chief financial officer of GM's Opel unit, told Reuters that GM already has figured out where it wants to take the brand over the next 10 years.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 3, 2012 03:22 PM
Ford has been putting "real people" in many of its ads for a while now, including the "Swap Your Ride" subjects hobnobbing with Mike Rowe and the actual Ford owners who were peppered with questions by fake reporters in the brand's controversial staged press conference stunt.
Now positioning their own workers as real people, the brand's marketers are now putting put actual Ford employees into ads promoting the 2013 Ford Escape crossover-utility vehicle. The campaign aims to show how Ford's people are demonstrating their internal drive to "Go Further," the tagline centerpiece of Ford's new global brand positioning. Ford also is launching a new web-only video comedy series behind the nameplate as well.
"We don't have a blanket strategy now to always do real people in ads, but in a lot of cases we're finding it does work," Scott Kelly, Ford's communications manager, told brandchannel. "We look at it campaign by campaign. Where it does work, it's all about being as authentic as possible."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 03:40 PM
Ford has been moving from one major social-media marketing innovation to the next, so it comes as little surprise that the brand is mounting a major digital and social effort around the 2013 Ford Fusion mid-size sedan.
"Random Acts of Fusion" is a multi-platform, transmedia campaign that features Ryan Seacrest as its "emcee." It centers around a contest in which consumers will "Unlock" how Fusion is able to "transform" the lives of people who drive it, Crystal Worthem, manager of Ford Brand Content & Alliances, stated.
In its slowly unfolding, almost teasing aspect, unlike previous Ford campaigns predicated on quick social-media participation, the Facebook-centered campaign is building anticipation by inviting fans to register and then stay tuned: "What's in the box? Register below to find out. Ryan will send one to each of the first 2,500 people who sign up for Random Acts of Fusion. Then come back to Facebook.com/FordFusion on July 5th to find out what happens next."
The teaser campaign "is designed to invoke emotion, which the [car] design does," Scott Monty, Ford's director of social media, told brandchannel. And the promotion is built "to go with people where they go — desktop to mobile to digital to social to experiential."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 22, 2012 05:55 PM
The Blue Oval is back where it belongs.
Last week we noted that Ford "hasn't yet gotten its iconic Blue Oval out of hock, but additional ratings-agency bumps of Ford bonds are expected to move that moment closer, as Ford seeks to regain control of one of the major assets it pledged as collateral in its private-borrowing spree before the Great Recession."
That day has come. With Moody's Investors Service's move today to upgrade Ford's debt, Ford has taken its iconic corporate logo out of hock, where it had resided for more than five years. Ford helped secure $18.5 billion in debt in December 2006 by pledging the Blue Oval along with substantially all of its domestic assets, which also included the F-150 and Mustang trademarks — as well as $5 billion of unsecured convertible debt.
"This is a great day for us and is the result of several years of hard work and progress by everyone associated with Ford," Bill Ford, executive chairman, said in a press release. Not to mention the risks that Ford took by recapitalizing in the private market, before the onset of the Great Recession, that rivals General Motors and Chrysler avoided through the federal-taxpayer bailouts in 2009. Ford couldn't get possession of the logo back from its banks until three credit-ratings services had bumped up its ratings, and Moody's was the third.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 3, 2012 06:15 PM
Ford isn't obscuring its brand identity in its new "Go Further" campaign because executives are afraid of American consumers' preconceived notions about Ford. They're pretty happy with Ford's brand equity in its home country right now, thank you, after Ford relied on its own resources to lead the Detroit Three back to financial soundness and market-share gains over the last few years.
But Ford does want to tease viewers into taking a close look at the Ford products and features highlighted in the ad, unaffected by overall brand impressions. So Ford isn't named in the ad, and its iconic blue oval logo isn't shown either.
"The idea was to start out to get peple talking and then introduce slightly different versions of the ads later on, with Ford front and center," Mark Schirmer, a Ford marketing spokesman, told brandchannel. "It allows the product to shine without any feeling left, right up or down. There is no branding involved."Continue reading...