Prejudice is a strange thing. Not only does it shape our opinion of the world around us, but it influences everything from the food we eat to the car we buy, either consciously or subconsciously.
In the automotive world however, it seems that brand prejudice can be overcome with a little marketing finesse.
Enter Ford, some social psychology, and its latest ad campaign for its green cars.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Ford began airing its new “Go Further” ad campaign on April 30 in key areas of the U.S. where Ford’s market share isn’t what the company wants it to be, such as California, New York, and the Southeast.
For one week, the Go Further ad slots deliberately made no mention of Ford, but instead referred to its new line of cars, including the 2013 Fusion Sedan and 2013 Escape SUV. At the end of each ad, viewers were invited to visit GoFurther.com for more information.
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
Without initial mention of Ford, 40 percent of all customers who visited the GoFurther.com website clicked through to Ford’s main web portal.
During that initial week, Ford discovered that 9 percent of all visitors were from California, with many clicking to find more information on the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, a car that isn’t due to launch in the U.S. for another six months.
A five-passenger small minivan that will enter the market place as a direct competitor to the 2012 Toyota Prius Hybrid and 2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid Wagon, the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid will be one of two Hybrid cars Ford hopes will steal Toyota’s hybrid car crown.
Gaining interest from areas where Ford cars aren’t well respected -- and where hybrid cars are already popular -- is a big coup for Ford.
Many of those initial visitors, Ford says, would never have considered buying a Ford Hybrid before because of brand prejudice.
“As soon as people see the badges they jump to conclusions about the brand,” said Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. market communications for Ford. “We have to leverage these fabulous new products in these environments.”
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
After one week of showing ads without Ford branding, subsequent airings included the familiar blue logo.
By doing this, Ford hopes to challenge the impression that many drivers in low-market share areas have of Ford being the automaker of mid-town America.
What do you think? Does Ford have a poor reputation as a green car maker, and do you think its latest ad campaign will help brand awareness in low-market-share states?
Let us know in the Comments below.