Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Not So Ford Tough

I sure hope the Ford Motor Company is telling the truth when it says it didn't pull a new ad due to pressure from President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.  If you haven't heard, the Detroit News reported earlier this week that an ad featuring a Ford buyer denigrating the auto industry bailout was pulled from the air after the White House felt it would build further animosity toward the billions that were spent to bailout the two other major US automakers.  Here is the "script" from that supposedly "unscripted" ad.........

“I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” said a Ford owner identified as Chris.

“I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: Win, lose or draw. “That’s what America is about, taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta’ pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me.”

Chris is buying a Ford F-150 pickup truck in the ad--so I'm guessing he probably wasn't planning on putting an "Obama 2012" sticker on the bumper anyway--and I'm sure he isn't alone in his choice to purchase based on the bailout.

In response to the initial report, Ford has issued statements claiming the ad was removed from the air as part of a regular rotation--and that it may or may not return.  Ford's CEO denied any pressure from the President or his campaign to pull the ad--and that he personally remains in full support of the auto industry bailout.  It has also been reported that GM and Chrysler executives were PO'ed by the ad as well.  If that was the case, then Chevy should have found someone who ponied up the down payment on a new Volt and had them say:

"I was happy to overpay for my electric vehicle--just like I'll be happy to pay a bunch more for the wind-generated electricity to re-charge it because that makes me feel like I'm doing something to save the planet from evil corporations like Ford."

In the advertising world, you always want to stress what make you better than your competitor--that is called "differentiation".  And Ford should be proud to shout from the rooftops that they didn't take taxpayer dollars to prop up unsustainable UAW pension and health care plans.  In the eyes of many buyers like "Chris"--that is reason to buy a Ford--despite what a struggling politician might think.

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