Ford signs Kelis to help launch Edge
Marcus Amick | Automotive News
Ford Motor Co. has pulled in Grammy nominated hip hop artist Kelis to help spice up the launch of the new Edge crossover vehicle to appeal to the African American market.
The ad campaign, created by the Uniworld Group-Detroit, will kick off at Kelis' Dec. 18 celebrity holiday party at New York's Capitale nightclub and include radio, TV, and print advertising. Ford will give partygoers a glimpse of the campaign.
The radio spot features a song that Kelis (pronounced "Kuh-Leese") wrote specifically for the campaign entitled "Push it to the Edge" that will begin airing on Dec. 20. The radio spot features a cameo introduction of Kelis and her song from Ford spokesperson and hip-hop DJ Funkmaster Flex. The spot will run on national syndicated radio shows like The Steve Harvey Morning and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Kelis is also scheduled to participate in various Edge sweepstakes giveaways on the radio shows beginning in February.
The television commercial, entitled "On the Edge," will feature Kelis and the "Push it to the Edge" track. It will begin airing in late December on major network stations throughout the country.
The print ad campaign for the Ford Edge Kelis campaign, entitled "Shattered," will run in major urban publications such as Jet, Ebony, Upscale and Sister2Sister magazine.
The Kelis campaign also includes special appearances and event tie-ins in key markets.
"This is the first time that we have linked up with an African American celebrity that has been fully integrated into launching a vehicle," says Marc Perry, multicultural marketing manager for the Ford brand. "It just creates added excitement around the vehicle."
The Kelis Edge campaign is primarily targeted at women who fit a personality that Ford marketing officials defines as "Mia," women in their mid-thirties who live an active lifestyle. The automaker expects the campaign to also generate a buzz with men.
To promote the campaign, Kelis is scheduled to make an appearance at the 2007 Detroit auto show for a media day and the show's Charity Preview on January 12.
The Kelis "Push it to the Edge" campaign will also be an integral part of Ford's new urban web site, www.FordUrban.com
, that will be launched at the end of December. The site is designed to attract and engage urban buyers with creative video content, third-party reviews, customer discussion rooms and downloadable music, say Ford officials.
The web site will begin with a targeted focus toward Edge buyers and eventually extend to the entire Ford brand line up of car, trucks, SUVs and crossovers. Ford Edge banner ads starring Kelis will also be prevalent on major online portals like AOL - Black Voices and Black Planet.
The Edge, a critical product to Ford's turnaround plan, started being shipped to dealerships Dec. 7 after a delay due to production issues.