Ford has announced advertising plans for the U.S. launch of its all-new Focus — the automaker’s most important product introduction of the year. Set to launch this Tuesday on Fox’s American Idol, the ad campaign is a the first of its kind — a single marking and advertising campaign to be used across the globe.
Ford’s strategy is to highlight the various features and technology available in the Focus in a series of short commercials. The company has developed 50 different ads ranging in length from 15 to 20 seconds that emphasize 14 technology features of The Blue Oval’s all-new C-segment vehicle.
After its debut in the U.S., the campaign will make its way over to Europe over the next several weeks. It will then launch across Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa in the second half of the year.
While the Focus was engineered at Ford’s Cologne offices in Germany, the U.S.-bound Focus will be built at Ford’s Wayne, MI plant. U.S dealerships should begin receiving first shipments of the car in late March.
Following in the path of the new Fiesta, the new Focus is the first in its line to become a truly global vehicle — a monumental part of Alan Mulally’s One Ford initiative. The Focus and its nine variants — including a sedan, hatchback, EV, C-MAX vans, a small crossover, as well as a small car for Lincoln, is based on Ford’s global C platform; Ford hopes to sell two million vehicles based on the architecture by 2012.[expand]
Ford Explains Extensive New Technologies in Ford Focus To Global Consumers Using New Advertising, Techniques
* New Ford Focus comes standard with so much technology, Ford rethinks its storytelling approach for consumers worldwide, tapping talents of unique global team
* Ford’s first-ever global advertising campaign highlights Focus’ 14 key technology benefits in 50 commercials, tailored for markets where the all-new vehicle will be sold
* New Ford Focus launching across North America and Europe in next several weeks
New York, Feb. 24, 2011 – The new Focus is the highest-tech and most globally integrated car Ford has ever produced. The way the company is introducing the new product to worldwide consumers is a first of its kind, too.
“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.”
Ford partnered with a team of marketing experts throughout WPP’s global operations to develop simultaneously 50 television commercials highlighting 14 key Focus technologies, many of which never have been offered in the segment before or are not available on competitors’ larger, more expensive models.
The quick-hitting spots – generally 15 seconds for North American audiences and 20 seconds for European ones – are tailored for worldwide markets where Focus will be sold. The collection marks Ford’s first-ever global product advertising campaign.
“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.
Developed in Ford’s engineering facility near Cologne, Germany, the new Focus will be sold in markets around the world, starting with Europe and North America in the next several weeks. Focus production begins for Asia Pacific customers next year.
To showcase Focus’ technology leadership, the integrated Ford-WPP team created 14 unique scripts, shot product footage in South Africa in December and married it with studio elements created in Belgium and London.
Led by Creative Director Greg Burke of Blue Hive – a collection of WPP agencies in Europe brought together to support Ford – the team simplified production complexities and streamlined both time and budgets, delivering the most globally integrated campaign in Ford history.
The ads debut Tuesday, March 1 in the U.S. during FOX’s “American Idol.” The campaign then rolls out across select countries in Europe in several weeks and in the second half of the year in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The new advertising campaign builds on a collection of Focus launch initiatives already under way, including the industry’s first Global Test Drive, which allowed 100 consumers from 13 different countries to drive the new Focus in Madrid before the new car arrives in dealerships. Many of the participants at last weekend’s test drive also won the opportunity to donate $10,000 (U.S.) to their favorite charities.[/expand]