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The advertising or ad campaign that will be focused on in this essay will be for Ford Motors and its ad campaign for its F Series pickup trucks.
Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that has its headquarters in Michigan, USA. The founder of the company, Henry Ford established Ford Motor Company in 1903 by introducing car brands such as the Ford Lincoln and the Mercury car brands. These brands catapulted the company to be the second largest car automaker in the United States and the fourth largest in the world with regards to car sales after Volkswagen in Germany.
The company has focused most of its car making activities in the manufacture of trucks, sports utility vehicles and sedans. Some of the most common Ford car models include the Ford Taurus, Ford Mondeo, Ford Explorer and Ford Expedition (NY Times 2010).
Ford’s advertising Campaign
One advertising campaign for the company involved an investment of $100 million on its ad campaign for the Ford F-150 pickup truck which made its debut in 2003. The Ford F-150 pickup has been described by many automakers and car industry analysts to be the most popular variant of the car manufacturer’s F-Series pickup models.
The F-150 was the best selling vehicle in the United States for over 24 years since the company was in operation which led financial analysts to estimate that the sale of F-Series pickup models accounted for half of Ford Motor Company’s profits.
The popularity of the F-Series and especially the F-150 has been as a result of the company’s extensive marketing campaigns and advertising activities which have continued to relay the improvements of the company’s F-Series trucks to the pickup and truck market in the United States (Ford.com 2010).
The $100 million was used to produce over 30 commercials and print ads to market the F-150 truck to car buyers of trucks in the American market. The extensive use of the many ads and commercials was meant to ensure that the Ford pickup remained the number one top selling full-size pickup in the American market.
The company decided to divide its advertising campaign into two phases where phase I was referred to as the Tease Campaign and phase II was known as Earned the Right Campaign (Duncan 2010). Ford’s Tease Campaign was based on the fundamental principles of using tease campaigns in advertising and marketing (Wark 1992).
A tease campaign is defined as a brief advertisement that is used to capture the interest of the general audience by offering bits of information of the product that the company is advertising. The tease campaign does not reveal the name of the sponsor during the ad campaign or commercial and it does not also offer the name of the product that is being advertised (Farrington 1999).
Teaser campaigns are usually used before the official advertising campaign and their main purpose is to draw the interest and curiosity of the target audience to the product that is being advertised. The main objective of these campaigns is to create an awareness of the company’s product and also position the product in the minds of the target audience (Belch et al 2007).
For a teaser campaign to be effective, the ad or commercial has to be clearly visible in both the print and visual media and it should also have a clear message that creates some interest to the ad in the mind of the viewer. The teaser campaign should also last for a few seconds if an ad commercial is being used in the advertising campaign (Chapman 1986). In the case of print media, the teaser campaign should incorporate the use of catchy phrases and attractive colours that will draw the interest of the viewer.
The most common uses of teaser campaigns have been before the introduction of major motion pictures and during the launch of major products such cars, airlines, personal computers, laptops and mobile phones. Teaser campaigns are especially popular among automotive advertisers who are planning to introduce a new car model into the market or are planning to introduce a newly renovated car model to its intended target audience (Wernick 1994).
The Teaser ad Campaign for Ford Motors Company dealt with the launch of a 60 second commercial that was meant to attract the attention of the viewers to the product.
The commercial used in the Tease Campaign to market the F-150 Ford pickup truck involved using phrases and words such as “farms, fields, concrete streets and crowded construction sites” in the ad commercial to represent the consumers of Ford’s pickup trucks in the American market which is generally every pickup consumer. The purpose of the teaser campaign was to gain the curiosity of the company’s truck consumers who had developed interest in the company’s pickup F Series truck models (Duncan 2010).
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The second phase of Ford’s ad campaign involved incorporating the official marketing campaign referred to as “Earned the Right campaign”. This ad campaign was immediately launched after the teaser campaign to build up on the interest that had been received by the ad.
The Earned the Right campaign was to feature four commercials that would be aired on television during the NFL regular seasons. The ad was meant to describe the features of the pickup (Low end-torque and horsepower) to the company’s target market and audience by providing a short description of the improvements that the truck has when compared to the previous truck models manufactured by the company.
The ad campaign was also meant to draw the attention of any potential truck buyer by encouraging them to visit any Ford auto dealership and view the F-150 Ford truck before they decided to make a purchase. The placement of the commercials before and after the NFL games was meant to attract a large American audience that usually tuned in for the NFL regular season games on various media broadcasting channels (Duncan 2010).
The company’s marketing executives decided to place commercials during every NFL game that was televised by ESPN so as to ensure that a 50 percent audience of truck buyers would be targeted by the commercials. The Teaser Campaign and Earned the Right advertising campaigns were described by industry analysts as the largest campaigns that were developed by Ford (Duncan 2010). The F-150 pickup model received a lot of attention as other advertising strategies were incorporated to market the product to its audience.
These advertising strategies included the use of popular websites such as Yahoo, MSN and AOL to increase media hype for the pickup truck. This form of advertising was meant to reach 75 percent of the company’s Internet users in MSN by incorporating the use of pop up ads and 230 by 33 banner ads that offered pictures of the F-150 truck to Internet users. The banner ads also had a link that would allow the user to view more details about the truck (Morrisey 2003).
In Yahoo’s homepage, the truck’s ad dominated two prominent positions of the web page that were devoted for ad campaigns. The webpage offered close-ups of the truck and links that would be used by Yahoo users to get more information on the F-150. In AOL, the welcome screen to the website featured an ad for the F-150 which was meant to catch the attention of the website’s users (Morrisey 2003).
These online placements of the company’s ad campaign included the four commercials that the company developed for the Earned the right campaign. This type of advertising proved to be different from that consumer electronics such as washing machines, dish washers, refrigerators and vacuums which mostly incorporated advertising campaigns that lacked teaser ads meant to encourage users to purchase the products (Nixon 1997).
In the case of washing machines, the advertising campaigns for expensive front loading machines proved to be ineffective as most consumers opted to purchase the conventional top loading washing machines. This forced Samsung to incorporate an advertising campaign that was different from other types of conventional washing machine adverts (Yaish 2009).
The persuasive technique that was utilised in advertising Samsung’s SWF Series washing machine involved the use of a persuasive text which stated that, “Nothing stays on clothes at a 1300RPM spin speed. I wonder why the colour of the clothes is still so bright and clear.” This ad caption was followed by images of bodiless shirts of different types of colours and materials which were vomiting different types of colours and stains such as mud, oil and ink.
The ad text and images were meant to relay the message that under a 1,300 rpm spin speed, the SWF washing machine could remove all stains on different types of clothing. This type of advertising was described as hard selling because of the incorporation of direct and overt sales images in the ad campaign which involved shirts that had no bodies (Atrens 2001).
This ad campaign differed from that of Ford’s F-150 pickup ad campaign that was soft selling in nature because of the friendly messages that were used in both its teaser and official advertisements. While most advertisers lauded Samsung’s ad campaign to be a bold move (the ad won an award in Qatar), many consumers saw the ad campaign as offensive and disgusting because of the bodiless images and also the depiction of throwing up in the ad campaigns images (Joseph 2009).
The essay had dealt with an evaluation of Ford Motor’s advertising campaigns for its Ford F-150 pickup series which is the most pickup truck in the United States. The essay has focused on one advertising campaign that the company utilised to market the F-150 pickup model and it has also looked at the various ad texts that were incorporated in the ad commercials.
A comparison of the company’s ad campaign was done with another piece of technology which was Samsung’s washing machine. The discussion noted that the ad campaign incorporated by Samsung was different from that of Ford as it involved the hard selling of the SWF washing machine to its consumers.
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