Echoing of Oprah Winfrey's wildly successful car giveaway promotions stunt, Ford Motor Co. has signed a deal to give away free vehicles to families appearing in ABC TV's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show.
The show is a 'perfect fit' for Ford vehicle giveaways, said Curt Jakson, senior partner and group communications director at Ford's creative advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson in Detroit, part of WPP Group.
The move is part of a larger product integration agreement that will showcase Ford's brand and products in six upcoming Extreme Makeover episodes. The family in each of the episodes is slated to get a free vehicle.
ABC hit show
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is one of ABC's more popular shows. Last Sunday's broadcast attracted 14.5 million viewers, a 8.4 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. It ranked 21st among all prime-time broadcast network programs this week.
The reality home-renovation show, which launched at the end of 2003, is a spinoff of the original Extreme Makeover, a plastic surgery show. Hosted by celebrity carpenter Ty Pennington, each episode documents a team of bickering designers and 100 workmen descending on the home of a "deserving family" to completely renovate the interior and exterior of the structure in seven days.
"It's a perfect fit for Ford," said Jakson. The deal was initiated by the automaker's dedicated media agency, WPP's Ford Motor Media, and then passed to JWT, which is working closely with the show's producers on product integration.
The ad agency has experience in the area, having produced the short-lived No Boundaries, an outdoorsy TV show featuring Ford's sport utilities vehicles in the summer of 2000.
Trucks already in show
Construction crews on this season's Extreme Makeover also use Ford's F-150 full-size and F-Series Heavy Duty pickup trucks, while architects and designers drive other Ford models. Upcoming launch vehicles, including the all-new Freestyle, aimed at families, will be part of the show.
Jakson described Ford Division's ad time on the show as a "meaningful presence," but declined to provide specifics.