Bad Advertising

Ford Motor Company is running an odd series of ads here.  Things like, “The Capitol Dome in Texas is bog, but this is bigger” – the a huge medallion/ad/logo whatever falls in front of the Capitol building. They have similar ads for the Big Bent National Park in west Texas.

How does making icons look small benefit Ford?  What makes them think that they are “bigger than Big Bend”? Someone actually thought this was a great ad – and I am sure a lot of people had to agree to get this campaign kicked off.  Me – I think it’s borderline offensive.  What not just proclaim that Ford is bigger than Texas?

I can’t believe someone made millions of of this nonsense.

Very poorly conceived, and executed even worse.

In my humble uneducated opinion.

Sure I remember Ford because of the ads.  But I also remember that I hate the ads.  If I were in the market, I would look somewhere else – Ford wouldn’t even get a visit from me.


  1. πŸ™‚ But MY Expedition is a fully loaded Eddie Bauer 4×4 πŸ™‚

    And accepting the fact that I am a “principled redneck” – this ad just doesn’t work here – and I bet it doesn’t last here for long.

    There are a couple PR/Marketing people that occasionally read here – I am interested in their take on this.


  2. Well… I’m like you. When I mentioned ‘quality’.. that was just ONE criterium to chose a car. I should have said ‘whatever criterium you use’.. as I said.. I’m more like you, I go for ‘looks’ rather than ‘quality’ (That’s probably why we BOTH ended up buying a Wedgewood-blue FORD Expedition!).

    And sure… their ad may not get you to buy a Ford .. my point was: it won’t KEEP you from buying one (if you thought it looked hot!) either! THAT’s what’s so clever about the ads! Sure it MAY prevent a few overly-principled rednecks from buying a Ford, but that doesn’t mean anything in the great scheme of things. Case in point: look at Japanese cars! There was (and is) a HUGE resentment here in the (patriotic) US to buying non-American cars! Not a day goes by and I hear “ONLY BUY AMERICAN” … yet… the sale of Japanese cars in the US has recently overtaken the sale of US-made cars. What people SAY and PREACH, is not the same as what they practice!

    As for football? They still play that in Texas? It’s been a while since the ‘boys’ weren’t laughed at, and the ‘Oilers’ moved to, of all places, Tennessee! YEARS ago!

    Now… had Ford made fun of MY SPURS!! THAT would have been a completely different story!

  3. First, I understand what you are saying about negative marketing. Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Hillary Clinton, etc, etc are good examples πŸ™‚

    But I do think this is a regional ad – that’s why it doesn’t make ssense to me. Anyone out side of texas see these ads?

    And as for me being a smart consumer – I most certainly am not. I’ll do a littl homework – even a lot, online. But when it comes to BUYING a new vehicle? I don’t have the time and attention span to go to multiple dealers. I find something that catches my eye, research it, and gernerally buy it. If I am pre-disposed to looking at GM, Chrysler, Honda, whatever before Ford then the chances are my eye will get “caught” long before I pull into a Ford dealership.

    I stand by my original position – these ads are stupid, and they will NOT get me to buy a Ford.

    A Ford sale bigger than Texas Footbal? You lived here Paul – you know that’s not only BS, but it’s almost the Anti-Christ.

    NOTHING is bigger than football in Texas!

  4. The psychology behind advertising is very subtle and often counter intuitive.
    I won’t pretent to be anything near knowlegable about it, but let me offer a few observations:

    1. People DO buy stuff because of ‘good’ ads (that’s why ads exist). But people seldomly DON’T buy certain brands BECAUSE of ‘bad’ ads. Case in point: your remark about now shunning Ford. Nonsense. You’re a smart man and realize that the next time you need a car, the only thing that counts is ‘quality’. And IF Ford has the superior car … that’s what you buy, whether you hate their ads or not. Doing otherwise would be extremely stupid.

    2. Given that principle: What makes an ad succesful is ‘coverage’: the more people talk about it, the better. The people who came up with this would be high fiving each other, if they read your post and you had Scoble’s audience! ALL you want is for people to TALK about your ad. In what context? Doesn’t matter. SPREAD the ‘name’ FORD. Controversial ads are usually the most successful.

    3. So WHAT they make ‘fun’ of Texas and their ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ attitude? They may ‘lose’ Texas by doing so (they don’t: because of the principle mentioned in #1), but all OTHER 49 states are laughing their asses off and consider it a ‘good’ ad.

    4. From the sound of it… this IS a good ad! A VERY smart one. That you hate it … is irrelevant.

  5. I just saw two more examples of this idiocy: “Football in Texas is big, this is bigger” and “The USS Lexington is big, this is bigger”.

    Totally retarted, and totally sending me the wrong signals.