Ford dealers like regional test-drive ads

DETROIT — Even though it has barely begun, Ford Motor Co. dealers want a word-of-mouth regional ad campaign to continue beyond its original two-month schedule.

As part of its new "Drive One" national brand campaign, Ford shot a series of commercials in suburban Atlanta and northern California showing owners of competitive vehicles driving Ford models and handing off the keys to friends for test drives.

The regional spots, dubbed "Town to Town, Friend to Friend," debuted this month and aim to spur word of mouth about Ford vehicles. Ford filmed 180 test drives and created more than 20 unscripted commercials. Print and Internet ads also are included.

The regional campaign, supported by Tier 2 dealer advertising funds, was meant to run for two months, said John Felice, Ford- rand general marketing manager. But dealers liked it so much that they have asked Ford to shoot more spots in other cities.

So Ford will continue, Felice said. Similar test drives are being shot in Denver, Phoenix, Boston and Philadelphia. 

You can reach Amy Wilson at awilson@crain.com

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