Ford Motor Company’s sales are in the toilet, Toyota is whipping their butt, the company is in debt up to its gonads, and the stock has just been downgraded to junk, so if there ever was a time to “rip out the BS,” this would be it. That’s what Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas says the company will do in “Bold Moves. The Future of Ford,”.
And they do: in a big company, ad-agency’s-idea-of-social-media-marketing sort of way.
It’s a nice advertorial, with some cool tools, but hey, for a reported $60 million budget, it ought to have a lot of bells and whistles. It’s sure to impress the Ford employees who’ve yet to be laid off and it’s increasingly irrelevant dealers, but you won’t find a link from the company’s main website or in its print or TV ads. Like a lot of big companies, they swim in new waters kind of like my puppy, Benny — refusing to get completely immersed.
The Ford films will be promoted online only through paid search advertising on Google; other websites, including CNN; and a link on fordvehicles.com, according to MarketingVox. Visitors to www.fordboldmoves.com can view the films, register for updates and offer opinions; (explicit comments will be filtered out); read the latest news about the company on a Yahoo! News RSS feed; read point-counterpoint editorials, biographical information on individuals in the films, and, after registering, participate in an area for public “e-conversations” around each topic.
Key quotes in the first episode: “We’re in trouble because we lost touch with the consumer” and “It’s very easy in our own little offices to create our own idea about what it means to be competitive”
Fields says, “Each episode will provide evidence that it’s not business as usual at the Ford Motor Company and that ‘Change or Die’ is not a sound bite. It’s the way we’re approaching our future .” Mary Lou Quesnell, director, Ford Brand DNA, tells viewers. “We will provide both sides of the conversation and let America watch Ford’s turnaround as it happens.”
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And boy oh boy, did the lawyers ever go to town with the Terms & Conditions!
And then, because the lawyers just couldn’t stop once they really got going, they added this final disclaimer, “Any content and/or opinions expressed in this Web site, including without limitation, message boards, articles and responses to questions are solely the opinions and responsibility of the person or entity named as the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Ford Motor Company. You also understand and acknowledge that you are responsible for the content of any message that you post to this site.”
Helloooooo, if the content of the website isn’t reflecting the opinions of Ford, what are we all doing here?