Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Do you know who your community is?

Some quotes concerning Ford's new 'Bold Moves' marketing campaign:

"The strategy targets values, attitudes and emotion rather than age and other demographics, and it features conventional media as well as the Internet." - Modbee

"It happens every day. Someone, somewhere makes a bold move. There's a car company for people like that. Ford" - Ford's new 'Bold Moves' spot

"The focus here, across the board, is on this customer that we feel is really the target customer for Ford," Dan Bedore, a Ford spokesperson, told ClickZ. "It's not just a demographic. It's more of a mindset and lifestyle." - ClickZ

"Key elements of the Bold Moves launch include:

* The Bold Moves Anthem - Bold Moves debuts in a 60-second commercial on "American Idol" featuring people in real life situations that require a bold move. The scenes range from a teenager getting his driver's license to a woman with breast cancer entering the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Race for the Cure® - a cause Ford has long supported. The song "Go," newly-recorded by two-time Grammy®-winning RCA Records recording artist Kelly Clarkson, provides the musical backdrop.

* Bold Product Commercials - Throughout the year, Ford will use high profile television properties, including "American Idol" (FOX), NASCAR Nextel Cup racing (FOX and NBC), "Monday Night Football" (ESPN) and the "Bowl Championship Series" (ABC), to air 30- and 60-second commercials for individual products ranging from the Ford Escape to the Ford Fusion that all will feature customers making bold moves in their lives. These will be integrated with print and digital executions.

* Kelly Clarkson Summer Tour - Ford will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of Clarkson's 24-city summer concert tour, which begins in West Palm Beach, Fla., on June 30. At each stop on the tour, a fan will win a new Ford.

* Warriors in Pink - Ford has long supported the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Race for the Cure, which benefits breast cancer research, and plans to step up support to increase visibility of the cause. For example, a portion of tickets sold for Kelly Clarkson's summer concert tour will be donated to Ford's Warriors in Pink effort supporting the Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure." - Ford's Press Release

"In conjunction with the debut of the TV spot, Ford is re-launching its Web presence to reflect the "Bold Moves" messaging. To drive traffic to the site, the company will place roadblocks, beginning May 4, on AOL, Yahoo! and MSN." - ClickZ

Hmmmmm........2 questions:

1 - Who is Ford's target community here? From what I can tell, it is 'anyone that is bold, living a bold lifestyle'.
2 - How is sponsoring Kelly Clarkson's concert series, and buying a buncha TV ads and roadblocking on such mainstream sites as AOL, MSN, and Yahoo!, a 'bold move'?

My guess is that Ford is going after Gen Yers and Gen Xers, but doesn't want to 'label' them via demographics because they are 'dehumanizing'. So instead of 18-34, they say they are targetting a 'lifestyle'.

Ok fine, then tell the people living that lifestyle how owning a Ford will benefit them. Don't throw wads of cash at AI spots, give them the ability to get more enjoyment out of their lifestyle. Why buy ads on AOL, Yahoo! and MSN, when you should be going after partnerships with iTunes, YouTube, and MySpace?

The problem is, Ford seems to be targetting a specific community, while giving them no real reason to buy their product. This is why you have to join the community you are targetting. If Ford had, they would know what features the 'bold lifestyle' looks for in a vehicle, and they would be offering them. They would understand how to COMPLIMENT the person's lifestyle, instead of attempting to dominate it.

As it is, I have no idea who the 'bold lifestyle' includes (anyone that can be bold?), and I doubt Ford does either.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. Ford is really good at thinking they get it, or trying to act like they get it, but, at the end of the day, their solution to every problem is to throw gobs of money at it. Good Luck with that, Ford!

Mack Collier said...

The funny thing is, they came up with a great idea with Fusion Studio D, the traveling mall-show that focuses on 3 areas for women: music, beauty, and fitness, without pushing the Fusion on them. The show's schedule coincides with the race schedule for the Susan G Komen Foundation, which raises money to fight breast cancer.

That was a good idea. Why Ford isn't going after similar portions of the community, instead of 'bold people', is beyond me.

"Hey bold people listen up! This is Bill Ford, and I'm coming for you, and I'm bringing Kelly Clarkson, and her big bold Ford Mustang with me!

I think ya hear me knockin', and I think you know I'm comin' in!"

In other news, Toyota has announced that they are targetting people that want good cars.

Anonymous said...

nice piece. i'm working on a ChangeThis manifesto that strives to explain this to people. feel free to link to it and get people to vote!