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Old 08-28-2003, 20:59   #1 (permalink)
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U.S.A.:Ford to start F-150 ad campaign

Automotive News
By Jean Halliday
August 28, 2003

DETROIT - Ford Division starts a national advertising campaign Aug. 29 for the redesigned F-150 pickup, teasing to an ad blitz arriving Sept. 4.

Ford has a trio of 15-second commercials and print ads in USA Today leading to the kickoff of what Steve Lyons, president of the division, called a $100-million-plus multi-media buy through the next six months.

"We wanted to generate some anticipation and excitement that something big is coming," said Rich Stoddart, who oversees advertising as marketing communications manager at Ford.

The theme for the full-sized pickup's launch ads is: "Only this truck earned the right to be the next F-150." The ads retain Ford's longstanding "Built Ford Tough" tag, but also use the brand's car tag: "If you haven't looked at Ford lately, look again."

WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson agency in Detroit is handling the campaign.

Tom Cordner, co-president and chief creative officer at JWT, said the theme line was given the thumbs up by competitive truck owners in focus groups pre-testing the campaign. While the teaser ads show the truck in more traditional situations such as in mud and splashing in water, he describes the launch executions as "very simple, very clean."

JWT created a slew of executions, including four TV commercials, 16 multi-page magazine ads, online ads and billboards. Both TV and print focus on a single product feature.

One of four 30-second TV spots shows the truck's frame being tested at Ford's Arizona proving grounds, and explains how the tough frame gives the pickup the segment's highest payload. A three-page print magazine ad discusses carriage bolts. Copy explains that Ford uses the longest and thickest bolts for the heaviest payload capacity.

Cordner said carriage bolts "don't seem like a big story, but it's a way to tell a bigger story" about the new pickup.

The 60-second TV commercial portrays the truck as part of America's landscape, showing the F-150 assembly line rolling through farm fields, country roads and urban streets. The ad shows the F-150 "just isn't your truck. It's America's truck," Cordner said.

It's no coincidence that the Thursday, Sept. 4, launch date is the season start of the National Football League. Ford will have a major presence as an advertiser on TV broadcasts and at all Fox NFL Sunday pre-game broadcasts. The automaker also is advertising heavily during college football game broadcasts. But Lyons said the media buy doesn't even reach its height until January.

Ford dealers around the country will hold special events, such as barbecues, at their showrooms on the weekend after Sept. 4 for prospects and customers. In a rare move, even Detroit Ford dealerships will be open Saturday, Sept. 6.

Jean Halliday is a staff reporter for Advertising Age, a sister publication of Automotive News.
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:41   #2 (permalink)
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F-150 ads tout rugged side

Ford campaign key to success of revised pickup

By Mark Truby / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- In a massive ad campaign that debuts today, Ford Motor Co. is portraying its new F-150 pickup -- one of the most important vehicles in the company's history -- as a cross between Indiana Jones and Rocky.

A blitz of TV commercials will feature the full-size pickup fording streams, scaling hills and undergoing harrowing trials at the automaker's engineering labs in Dearborn and its proving ground in Yuma, Ariz.

The message: The truck has "earned the right to be the next F-150."

"We made the truck the hero of the campaign," said Tom Cordner, co-president of J. Walter Thompson, the Detroit-based advertising agency that created the campaign.

Ford is spending more than $100 million over the next six months to pierce the consciousness of truck buyers around the country. Ford Division President Steve Lyons said the marketing effort is easily the most expensive in the company's history.

While Ford is cutting costs in most areas, it couldn't risk skimping on marketing for the F-150, the best selling vehicle on the U.S. market and the company's most reliable profit maker.

Ford sold 813,701 F-Series pickups last year. Despite increasing competition from both domestic and foreign makes, Lyons' goal is to sell more than 1 million F-Series per year.

While reviews for the new F-150 have been solid, even glowing in many cases, the initial advertising campaign is critical to public acceptance.

"An ad campaign has a lot to do with how you get started," Lyons said.

Ford also has the advantage of a huge and loyal body of current and former F-150 owners.

"They will be very interested in what the F-150 has done to merit all this attention," said Jim Sanfilippo, an automotive marketing expert with AMCI Inc. in Detroit. "They are ready to hear Ford's message."

Beginning this week, Ford will air a series of short ads to tease the official debut of the new truck. The campaign moves into full swing next Thursday and will run through what Ford is calling the truck's official kickoff weekend.

A series of F-150 ads will run during every televised National Football League game between Sept. 4 and Monday, Sept. 8. The ad blitz should reach about half of all prospective U.S. truck buyers, Ford said.

The spots will not only feature the truck rambling over hill and dale, but emphasize its quiet ride and more luxurious interior. One ad, called "America's truck," plays directly to the typical U.S. truck buyers' patriotism. The spot depicts the F-150 being built along a large assembly line that spans the United States -- past farm country, over bridges and through cities.

Ford is asking its 3,800 dealers nationwide to hold special sales events on the kickoff weekend. Garland, Texas-based Ford dealer Jerry Reynolds said he plans to mount a new F-150 on a flatbed truck and drive it around his sales region to drum up excitement.

Ford also has asked Detroit-area Ford dealers to break with tradition and remain open Saturday, Sept. 6. Some dealers, though, have balked.

"We will be closed," said Keith Batko, general manager of Russ Milne Ford in Macomb Township. "They would like us to stay open Saturday but we aren't going to do it."

Other initiatives Ford plans to build awareness of the new F-150:

* The F-150 is sponsoring a commercial-free season debut of the hit TV series "24." The truck will appear in the first episode, which is expected to draw 20 million viewers.

* The new pickup will be a prominent set piece in country music star Toby Keith's upcoming concert tour. The concerts will feature a modified F-150 that transforms into a stage at the beginning of Keith's performance.

* Ford created separate ad campaigns to appeal to Hispanic and African-American buyers. Lyons said it was the company's most extensive multicultural marketing push to date.

(Photo)Ford is spending more than $100 million over the next six months to appeal to truck buyers around the country, easily the company's most costly campaign.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg b01ford1.jpeg (24.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 08-29-2003, 05:50   #3 (permalink)
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(2 Left Photos)Ford is touting early reviews -- "The best pickup truck ever" -- in its billboard ads promoting the vehicle as one of the most important in the company's history.

(Middle Photo)The "America's truck" ad shows the F-150 being built along a large assembly line that spans the United States farms, bridges and cities.

(Right Photo)The Ford F-150 ads will not only feature the truck rambling over hills, but emphasize its quiet ride and more luxurious interior.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg b01ford22.jpeg (11.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpeg b02forddoors11.jpeg (21.1 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpeg b02fordpull11.jpeg (20.8 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpeg b02fordquiet.jpeg (40.2 KB, 3 views)
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Old 08-29-2003, 06:45   #4 (permalink)
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Re: U.S.A.:Ford to start F-150 ad campaign

The advertisements are okay, but some of them are a little boring.
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