Is Ford’s New Campaign on the Right Track?

When selling, remember: If you don’t admit the downside, they won’t believe the upside. — Roy Williams

Lively discussion in progress on AdRants (see the comments) regarding Ford’s new ad campaign, “Drive One”. I admit to a rooting interest here, since I have two Ford dealers as clients. The author of the post is hard on the company, since in his view the positions Ford is grabbing for are already taken in the consumers’ mind by other manufacturers. And he quarrels with the whole tone of the campaign:

When a tarnished brand like Ford asks me to be surprised when I “drive one” I may register that Ford is building quality cars, but I am also reminded why I should be surprised by that – because their products were so bad for so long.

I tend to believe that Ford is facing reality — although the damage to their reputation may be self-inflicted, it’s real nonetheless, and they need to begin the slow process of repairing it. The “surprise” expressed is a tacit acknowlegement of the fact, and it’s refreshing to see them do it.


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