January 7, 2015
While you were celebrating the final hours of 2014, Ford launched a new, ambitious advertising campaign designed to get pickup truck drivers buzzing about the F-150 in 2015.
On New Year’s Eve, the first three commercials for the 2015 Ford F-150 aired during the NCAA college football playoffs. The ads ran again during college football games on New Year’s Day and will run again during the championship game on January 12.
The first TV spot, entitled “Forward March,” touts the new F-150’s lightweight, high-strength aluminum alloy body. Subsequent ads “Move It” and “What’s Next” focus on the Ford F-150’s towing capabilities and technological innovations, respectively.
The ad campaign is said to be Ford’s most comprehensive marketing campaign for the F-150 yet. This may account for Ford’s decision to air its spots during the college football playoff season in order to attract the attention of a key audience demographic.
“As launches go, we’re probably advertising the new one a bit sooner,” admitted Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Normally, we would wait to break our advertising until we get to a 50-50 mix of old and new trucks, but this College Football Playoff is such an attractive property.”
All three TV ads for the 2015 F-150 capitalize on the fact that the pickup truck is made of “military grade” aluminum that reduces the total weight of the vehicle by about 700 pounds. However, some industry observers found it curious that Ford did not emphasize the increased fuel efficiency that the change to lightweight aluminum would mean to Ford F-150 drivers.
Chantel Lenard, Ford’s director of U.S. marketing, responds to this charge by stating that the top priorities of truck buyers are durability and capability, and indeed these qualities are emphasized in the latest ads for the 2015 Ford F-150. With that said, a recent Ford press release extols 2015 F-150 pickups as having the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any vehicle of its type sold in the U.S.
Ford estimates that the 2015 model F-150 will improve fuel economy by 5% to 29% over previous models. These fuel economy numbers will likely be cited in a subsequent ad, according to Keith Koeppen, U.S. marketing communications manager.
Ford is eager to put the 2015 F-150 in the forefront of college football fans’ minds despite the relative lack of inventory at dealerships. Around the time the new ads made it to TV screens, about half of all Ford dealers had one new F-150s available, according to Scott. With that said, he adds that by March or April more than half of Ford dealer inventory in F-150s will be the 2015 model.
Until that time, Ford F-150 fans will have to await “the future of tough.” Luckily for them, with the dawning of a new year they won’t have to wait long before they see that future in action.
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