Ford marketing chief Jim Farley told Automotive News that the model-year launch budget is "in the same ballpark" as the spending allocated when the automaker introduced the current F-150 in 2003. When that redesigned 2004 model went on sale, then company executive Steve Lyons said Ford would spend more than $100 million on what he called the biggest launch campaign in Ford's history.
The same kind of emphasis is being planned for the re-engineered and restyled 2009 F-150, which goes on sale this fall.
"It will definitely be our biggest launch in the next many years, absolutely," Farley said.
He said it is too early to describe elements of the marketing campaign, but he noted that the budget itself isn't as important as how the money is spent.
"You can blow $200 million on broadcast TV and not have anyone notice, if it's not done just right," Farley said.
The 2009 F-150 is one of several key launches this year. Campaigns also are being completed for the new 2009 Ford Flex crossover and 2009 Lincoln MKS sedan, both of which go on sale this summer. Company officials say Ford and its dealers spend $1.5 billion annually on marketing at the national, regional and local levels.