04-27-2006, 08:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
What I Drive: 2004 Mazda3s Sedan MTX
FF Reputation: 1
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (2
Ford will have a reality show
A couple days after Ford announced / eaked that "Built for the Road Ahead" slogan will be replaced by "Bold Moves" and Kelly Clarkson will be offiial face of that slogan, Ford announced/leaked that it will introduce a reality show where contestants will work on producing a concept car...
Well have at it.. quote from the articles are below:
Ford's bold move: Its own reality TV show
Top dealers get peek at series automaker is pitching with contestants designing hot cars.
Bryce Hoffman / The Detroit News
DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. -- hoping to tap into a popular television programming trend -- is planning to produce a reality show in which contestants work with Ford designers to produce a hot new concept car.
The automaker showed top U.S. dealers a teaser of the program at a dealer meeting Wednesday in Dearborn, which was called to unveil the company's new advertising strategy, dubbed "Bold Moves."
The theme of the show will be "designing a dream car." The teaser was produced by Ford and its ad agency, the J. Walter Thompson Co.
Ford intends to shop the program to networks, according to dealers and company officials.
Ford spokesman Jim Cain confirmed the dealer meeting Wednesday, but declined to discuss the new campaign. Sources in the company said the plan was shared with dealers to demonstrate that "Bold Moves" is more than just a snappy slogan.
Jim Sanfilippo, an analyst with Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc., said the show is a good way to convey Ford's new message to today's consumers.
He said reality shows resonate with a wide audience, adding that Ford's foray into this field is an example of the sort of bold moves the company is talking about.
"It's a very cool idea," Sanfilippo said. "It's a way to engage the audience in a way that they can they can identify it."
The "Bold Moves" campaign represents one of the most ambitious marketing efforts by the automaker in recent years.
Ford will kick off television ads for the campaign Tuesday night during "American Idol" on Fox.
The first commercial -- called "Anthem" -- will feature a new song performed for Ford by Kelly Clarkson, a pop star and the first American Idol winner, called "Go."
It will feature images of average Americans living life to the fullest. A series of similarly themed ads will follow.
Dealers were given a sneak peek at some of the new ads that will be featured in the campaign.
One shows a father teaching his son to drive a Mustang GT. After the son peels out, the father admonishes him that the car is "not a toy." Then the father smiles and asks, "Wanna do it again?"
Another ad shows a mother and daughter standing on the edge of a cliff. The woman asks her daughter to trust her. Then they leap into the water about 20 feet below.
Ford has asked dealers to begin preparing major local and regional ad campaigns to support the new marketing effort.
"I came away really excited," said Jerry Reynolds, a major Ford dealer in suburban Dallas and former chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council. "This is a whole new Ford Motor Co."
Ford told dealers the new campaign is aimed at millions of Americans it has identified as potential customers through extensive focus groups. The target customers cut across demographic lines but share a belief in hard work, family, patriotism and enjoying an adventurous life.
Dealers said the ads were notable because the people and their lifestyles were featured more than the cars.
"They gave me a chill," Reynolds said. "I have never seen anything quite like this."
Ford's U.S. sales have dropped 2.3 percent this year and it's been forced to overhaul its sales and marketing operations to reverse a 10-year market share slump.
Ford lost $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2006, largely because of continuing problems in North America.
In addition to the Bold Moves campaign, Ford plans to play up its American roots when designing and engineering future models.
Sanfilippo, who spoke with some of the dealers that were invited to Wednesday's event, said the conclave was an important step in realizing the new vision for the company that is being crafted by Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas group.
"He declared the mission and identified the strategy," Sanfilippo said. "One of things Ford has always suffered from is a lack of alignment. What he's doing is rearranging the fundamentals and making sure that all the stakeholders understand it and embrace it."
Reality shows such as "American Idol," "The Apprentice" and "Survivor" have become some of network television's most popular programming, drawing millions of viewers a week.
Ford is already one of two principal sponsors of "American Idol," which means its products are featured prominently in the hit show.
But reality television is not without its risks for automakers. On a recent episode of NBC's "The Apprentice," contestants were tasked with demonstrating the new Chevrolet Tahoe for a group of General Motors Corp. dealers. One team did such a bad job that dealers went home angry. To make matters worse, an Internet tie-in that allowed viewers to create their own commercials for the new sport utility vehicle was used to lampoon the automaker.
Other automakers are trying some bold advertising moves of their own. Honda Motor Co. is sponsoring a Web-based reality show to promote its new Fit hatchback. Six five-minute episodes have already been produced, with the debut scheduled for May 15.
Toyota Motor Corp. has partnered with Fox to create a spinoff of the network's popular drama "Prison Break" for mobile telephones. Toyota will sponsor the cutting-edge production, which will also feature Toyota products. Toyota will also sponsor content for an Internet site devoted to the show and will be the exclusive advertiser for several episodes of the television program.
You can reach Bryce Hoffman at (313) 222-2443 or email@example.com.
Can Idol change Ford's blue tune?
Dealers applaud new Kelly Clarkson campaign; shares hit lowest level since March 2003.
Scott Burgess / The Detroit News
Ford Motor Co. plans to use America's first Idol, Kelly Clarkson, to spread the word that it's changing its tagline.
Ford is ditching the slogan "Built for the Road Ahead" after a little more than a year and replacing it with "Bold Moves," according to dealers and company officials familiar with the plans.
The automaker plans to discuss the tagline and a new advertising campaign starring Clarkson, winner of the first season of the Fox hit "American Idol," at a meeting Wednesday in Dearborn.
Ford is moving to reinvigorate its marketing efforts at a time of continued market share losses and falling stock value. Its shares fell 36 cents Monday to $6.96, a new three-year low. The company reported a $1.2 billion first-quarter loss on Monday.
Ford will continue to use its successful "Built Ford Tough" slogan for pickups. Country music star Toby Keith remains Ford's pitchman for trucks.
The "Bold Moves" slogan dovetails with the company's internal rallying cry: "Red, White and Bold."
Mark Fields, president of Ford's Americas division, has championed more aggressive styling for the automaker's car and crossover lineup. Vehicles like Ford's Five Hundred sedan have been criticized as too bland, especially when compared with the Chrysler 300. The smaller, more stylish Fusion sedan is more in line with Ford's new design direction.
Both the new slogan and the affiliation with Clarkson drew praise from dealers and analysts. Clarkson has recorded several hits since exploding on the scene with "Idol" and has cultivated a squeaky-clean image. And Ford is already a key sponsor of "American Idol," one of most popular shows on television.
"I think she is an excellent choice," said Jerry Reynolds, owner of Prestige Ford, a large dealership in suburban Dallas. "She is not controversial. She real mainstream America."
The tagline is clear and simple, with none of the clumsiness of "Built for the Road Ahead" or its short-lived predecessor, "If You Haven't Looked at a Ford Lately, Look Again."
"It's a matter of tone," said Jim Sanfilippo, a senior industry analyst with Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc. "Be bold, that also means to take a risk."
Ford plans to use the "Bold Moves" slogan as a tie-in to offers it will roll out to customers in the next couple months.
Reynolds said dealers have been pleased to see Ford making aggressive marketing moves without waiting for General Motors Corp. to act first and then reacting.
"They're making these plans well in advance without regard to what GM is doing," he said. "Tell you what, that is refreshing and an about-face from what we saw this time last year."
Analysts, though, are still awaiting an about-face for Ford's U.S. sales. Bank of America analyst Ron Tadross cut his target price on Ford's shares from $7 to $6 and said he expects Ford's U.S. market share to drop to 17.2 percent this year from 18.6 percent in 2005 as it faces stiff competition from GM and other rivals.
Jonathan Steinmetz, an auto analyst for Morgan Stanley, said Ford needs to accelerate its cost-cutting efforts as competitors launch new products such as the Toyota Tundra.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.