Ford Motor Co.'s long-awaited corporate advertising campaign from Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide begins this week. It was assigned in late 1996.
Ford employees appear in both print and TV advertising, touting the company's accomplishments in safety, security and protecting the environment.
Three-page ads will appear in nearly 40 magazines, including the 'Seinfeld' collector's issue from Entertainment Weekly. Network and cable TV schedules begin May 11. A 60-second spot will run in movie theaters for four weeks, starting Memorial Day weekend.
Most of 1998's $30 million in spending for the program will occur in the next four months.
Ford and Ogilvy & Mather conducted extensive research to determine how consumers around the world perceived the company, said David Ropes, Ford director of corporate advertising. Results showed that Ford is known as a large, financially successful corporation, but doesn't really have a proprietary image to call its own.
The goal of the program isn't to sell cars - that is the job of the primary vehicle brands.
'We'll sell a relationship based on trust,' Ropes said.
Although Ford's campaign is only for the United States, the new positioning is global. Ford has not decided, however, whether the campaign will expand globally, Ropes said.
Ford stopped running corporate TV ads in the third quarter of 1997; print ads stopped in the fourth quarter.
The campaign introduces the new tag, 'Better ideas. Driven by you.' It replaces 'Quality is Job 1,' developed by Wells BDDP of Dearborn, Mich., which had the account for 17 years. Those ads also used Ford employees.
Quality is still important to Ford, but 'today quality is the price of entry' in the auto industry, Ropes said. Quality will be the focus of an upcoming print ad to demonstrate Ford's product-durability testing.
One TV spot shows Dennis Porter, who works in Ford's crash-dummy engineering lab, touting Ford's testing and five-star government crash ratings.
The 'uniform notebook' format for the four print ads was developed by Ogilvy & Mather personnel in New York. The 'notebook' has two-dimensional 'tabs' marked with various topics, including quality and environment.
The cover page has an employee letter 'paper-clipped' to a blue notebook, with 'Ford Motor Co.' written in script. Inside, the notebook looks open, with a collage of 'did-you-know' facts on the left page and the same letter and employee photo on the right.