In New Ad, Ford Courts The African American Consumer
By 2016, multicultural consumers will spend $14.0 billion on automobiles, according to Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. In 2001, 1,033,097 African American, Asian and Hispanic new car owners bought another vehicle and at least 47 percent of these buyers returned to the same manufacturer, found a study by R. L. Polk, a vehicle sales reporting agency. Ford had the second largest population of African Americans with 62 percent buying another Ford vehicle. (Toyota had the largest number of African American repeat customers.) It is no wonder Ford wants to target the multicultural community. Ford is the second-largest U.S.-based automaker and the fifth largest in the world.
To promote its 2013 Ford Escape, the company has created a humorous campaign called “Brand New,” which features TV ads, print, radio and digital executions that highlight some of the features found in the Escape such as hands-free power lift-gate, active park assist and the EcoBoost engine. It takes a unique approach, using a comedic documentary style. The company debuted their campaign in June during the season finale of television show, “The Game” on BET.
“Multicultural campaigns are necessary because the diversity in today’s marketplace requires messages that can break through and resonate with the target audience. For example, our campaign for the all-new 2013 Escape focuses on meeting the needs of style, value and fuel economy. We work to deliver the message by showing how key features like the hands-free power-lift gate, active park assist and the EcoBoost engine can introduce them to life experiences and new adventures,” says Shawn Lollie, Ford manager, Multicultural Marketing.
In the TV spot, which was filmed in Los Angeles, viewers are introduced to the Browns, an African American family kayaking, surfing and hiking soon after purchasing their Escape. The commercial’s aim is to show viewers how owning the Escape can lead to brand-new and exciting experiences. The vehicle messages are communicated in the ads through the eyes of Stanley the Gas Attendant, Vince the Valet and the Bag Boy.
“The Brand New platform is the interpretation of Ford’s global brand promise entitled ‘Go Further.’ The platform is built on going the extra mile in every area of the business and to help produce innovative products that are attainable. ‘Brand New’ is an interpretation of ‘Go Further.’ It’s the explanation of what happens to you when you purchase the all-new Escape: It’ll make a brand new you,” says Lollie.
The fully integrated campaign includes TV, radio and print ads as well as a digital execution featuring a series of Web videos. There is also a music video featuring the Bag Boyz who rap about the hands-free power lift-gate in an old-school, hip hop song entitled “Kick It.”
“Multicultural campaigns are successful because they directly target the audience. The 2013 Escape ad uses characters like a gas station attendant and a valet who look and act like someone we have seen,” notes Lollie. “Albeit, a bit over the top but our core audience can relate to the characters. The spots become memorable with the character but we are constantly delivering key messages about the Escape.”
The campaign was created by UniWorld Group, Ford’s African American advertising agency of record.