After 3½ years, Ford Division has bounced its "No Boundaries" advertising tag line
Ford asks consumers to 'Look again'
By Julie Cantwell
Automotive News / January 27, 2003
DETROIT -- On Sunday, Jan. 26, after the Super Bowl, the division began airing a TV commercial on ABC that features its entire vehicle lineup and a new tag: "If you haven't looked at Ford lately … look again."
The line plays off one that Ford introduced in 1983: "Have you driven a Ford lately?" and combines with another, "Look again," that it launched in November for the Taurus.
"As you head toward a milestone like the centennial, it seems a perfect time to say where you have been and where you are going," said Rich Stoddart, Ford Division's marketing communications manager, referring to Ford's 100th anniversary in June. "We need to let the customer know about the great products we have, about the improvements in quality that we've got going on, about the momentum we've got."
After concerns with Firestone tires and vehicle quality problems, Ford has been trying to improve its image. With new products in the pipeline, the division wanted a fresh advertising message.
Ford Division will charge after its competitors by spending about $700 million on U.S. media this year. That means it's creeping up on rival Chevrolet, the biggest spender among automotive brands.
Ford's ad agency, J. Walter Thompson in Detroit, created the multimedia campaign. It doesn't try to reposition the brand. It provides specific reasons for consumers to look again at Ford products.
For example, an Expedition ad touts "The ease of the world's only Powerfold 3rd row seat."
The commercials feature an original composition by Randy Newman, the gravely singer-songwriter known most recently for soundtracks to the movies Toy Story and Monsters, Inc.
Jerry Reynolds, chairman of Ford's north Texas dealer ad association, said the new campaign better represents Ford's back-to-basics approach.
"We never liked 'No boundaries,' " said Reynolds, who owns Prestige Ford in Garland, Texas, and Edmond, Okla. "I was chairman of the dealer council when 'No boundaries' came out, and I asked the question a dozen times, 'Now what does this mean?' My concern was if I wasn't 100 percent sure and I'm in the business, I don't know how to expect consumers to understand."
The next TV commercial in the campaign likely will highlight Ford's sport-utilities, Stoddart said. It will begin airing in early March during USA Network's coverage of the Ford Championship at the Doral golf resort in Miami.
Ford plans to run the campaign all year, though Stoddart said he will evaluate it in about six months.
Reasons to 'Look'
In new ads, Ford spells out why it wants consumers to "Look again."
Focus -- "The handling of a $40,000 European performance car for under $16,000."
Expedition -- "The ease of the world's only Powerfold 3rd row seat."
F-series Super Duty -- "The most horsepower and torque of any pickup on the planet."
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....