Bold Moves: The New Face of Ford?

I’ve strayed away from blogging about this Ford Motor Company campaign until now on purpose.  I wanted to see more than the first video, or even the fifth.

Well, now I have seen an even dozen videos in this “Bold Moves” campaign – and you should watch them.  This is NOT your Father’s car company commercial.

For example, I think it is episode six that starts out with Ford admitting, “We have the worst fuel economy in the industry”.  Bold moves indeed.  At a time when gasoline prices are about as high as they have ever been Ford says that yes, they are the worse offender on the civilized planet.

Then you watch episodes 6-9 and you learn what Ford is doing along these lines to improve economy and build vehicles we want to drive, and can afford to drive. 

Episode 11 was also interesting to me because it took Ford right into my backyard – where the largest Toyota truck plant is ready to start production this November.  Ford scouted the sight and talked to local dealers – and they really kinda did and kinda didn’t gloss over the fact that the parking lot of the Toyota plant under construction was filled with Ford Trucks.  They did mention it, but I think they could have made a bigger deal out of it.  The Toyota plant was built “Ford Tough” by Ford pickups.  Sweet!

But the really interesting thing here is the honesty Ford is displaying in this entire series of (so far) 12 videos.  They openly talk about the problems they face – at least some of them.  They haven’t addressed Unions or pensions yet – I hope they do — those are significant costs (and barriers to competitiveness) for every US auto manufacturer now – not just Ford.

But look at this Ford site – look how honest they are, how open they are about their faults, how they are trying to change, and mostly how they are trying to engage via this new medium.  They have “blog this” buttons on the same video that says “we suck on fuel economy”.

What they are doing, and very effectively, I think, is saying, “We have screwed up.  We are fixing it.  Help us.  Trust us.  We won’t fail you.”  And they make a compelling argument.  They make me want to believe in them – and to even help them if I can.

I have a 1998 Ford Expedition that has 90K miles and has surprisingly few problems.  Ford built it before they realized they were screwing up.  I have to believe they will just get better and better – especially when they are being so up front with their customers and dealers as they are in this set of videos.  There are 12 videos so far.  I hope in a year there are 300.  These are very compelling tools to get customers and dealers engaged/re-engaged with Ford – to make us “stick with them”. 

This is an amazingly well done viral marketing ad – almost nobody feels negatively towards it because if you were a Chevy or GMC fan you probably would never look at the videos anyway.  But if you are a Ford fan you look at them and they draw you in – as if you are somehow part of the solution.  And of course you are.  Buy Ford.

The openness and honesty Ford shows in these clips is exciting to me – I want to see other companies do this.

If you are interested in alternative energy vehicles, look at clips 6-9.  If you want to see the San Antonio clip of the Fords building the Toyota plant, view clip 11 (but look quick, because they don’t show it long).

If you want to bet on one American Auto Manufacturer that will survive, bet on Ford.  I think they “get it” I think they understand that their customers are not idiots, and that honesty has the best chance of keeping, or winning back customers.

At the very least they understand that they need to have a conversation with their customers.  And that’s a huge step! 

Bold Moves Indeed!

Link to Bold Moves: Homepage