If you were used to the Ford Motor Company ten years ago and how they marketed to the public and what they offered, then you have probably noticed the pendulum swing in a very different direction. It is hard to say what really started it, but a lot of people credit Alan Mulally, President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, and his vision for turning around one of the most historic automobile companies in the U.S. It might seem like the Ford Fiesta was the first vehicle to turn the tide, but you could actually trace the shift back to the first throwback redesign of the Ford Mustang and the shift to the Fusion/MKZ platform in their mid-size vehicles. The momentum has continued and now the news is filled with the all-new 2012 Ford Focus—a vehicle with 14 key technologies that are class leading. The question: How do you market that? The answer: The 1-14-50 approach.
Okay, so I made that up, but it stands for one product, 14 features and 50 different commercials that are tailored for markets where the all-new vehicle will be sold. The strategy, disclosed in yesterday’s press release, is the first of its kind for the Ford Motor Company. See what they are saying within Ford:
“One out of every four vehicles sold worldwide is from the C-segment. Ford is creating new ways to cut through the clutter and win consumers’ attention with information they care about most – technology that improves their lives,” said Jim Farley, group vice president of Global Marketing, Sales and Service.
“The Focus truly embodies our Ford brand pillars of Smart, Green, Safe and Quality. The Green and Smart pillars were particularly important to our target customer for Focus, and that became our greatest communications challenge,” Farley added. “We had to find a way to talk about all the new features and technologies, delivering everything from better fuel economy to hands-free connectivity with mobile devices and even a more fun driving experience. And we had to do it in a quick and engaging way.”
You might have seen this coming if you were following Ford on Twitter, as they were tweeting information that now fits in nicely with the press release. The 50 commercials will be developed with a team from WPP’s global operations and are intended to be quick hitting spots somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 seconds for North American audiences. For Europe the company intends to extend these spots to 20 seconds. According to the press release, this collection will be the first global product advertising campaign for the company.
“This seems especially fitting, given the new Focus is Ford’s first global product created from day one under our One Ford plan, which drives us to better leverage our global assets and deliver profitable growth,” Farley said.
We couldn’t agree more. Now the question is, what will consumers think of the Focus and how will it fair in the long term? We drove it for over 100 miles last month out in sunny California, but that is just part of the equation. Stay tuned as we investigate further here at AllSmallCars.com.