Sinatra makes comeback as pitchman for Ford T-Bird
DETROIT, July 25 Reuters reported that "Frank Sinatra makes a comeback of sorts in a new television advertisement for the "cool" retro-styled Thunderbird roadster Ford Motor Co. resurrected last year.
The ad, which conjures up memories of the lyrics "One More for the Road" from one of Sinatra's most famous songs, features a clip from the 1957 Columbia Pictures film "Pal Joey" in which the crooner is seen bidding an affectionate farewell to a candy-apple red T-Bird.
"So long little bird, don't pick up any nails," says Sinatra, a cultural icon and arguably the most recognized and beloved ballad singer of the last century.
Known as "Ol' Blue Eyes" and "The Chairman of the Board," Sinatra, who has been dead for four years, appears in the 30-second ad along with Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Ford Jr., the pitchman who does most of the talking.
The great-grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford says the new T-Bird, based on the two-seat convertible that lasted just three years after making its debut in 1954, is something that would have made Sinatra proud.
"It just evokes something within you," Ford says of the car, which costs about $40,000.
"You've got the sun shining; you've got the tunes blaring. I mean, it is really the essence of cool," he adds.
In a further boost for the reincarnated T-Bird, and what Ford marketing executives see as a sure winner in terms of product placement, Oscar-winning actress>Halle Berry will be seen tooling around in a coral-colored version of the car in the new James Bond film "Die Another Day."
In the movie, which opens Nov. 22, Pierce Brosnan as Bond will also drive an Aston Martin V-12>Vanquish sports car, while Rick Yune, the film's villain, will drive a high-powered Jaguar XKR. Ford, which is struggling to implement a painful turnaround plan after losing $5.45 billion last year, owns both Jaguar and Aston Martin.
Bill Ford, now a dues-paying member of the Screen Actors Guild, has been appearing in ads for his company since February, and Ford officials say the campaign has helped increase purchase consideration for the Ford brand by 12 percent so far.
Sinatra was no stranger to pitching cars. He made ads for the Pontiac division of General Motors, as well as singing in Chrysler commercials during the reign of Chairman Lee Iacocca, who was a close friend."
As a special tribute to "The Voice," as he was also known, Iacocca built a "Sinatra" edition of the Chrysler Imperial sedan in 1980.
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.....