DETROIT -- The newest "American Idol" winner, Taylor Hicks, is the face of Ford Motor Co.'s 2006 model year-end clearance sale.
Hicks, who won the Fox network's talent show in May, is appearing in a series of TV commercials promoting Ford's summer sell-down, dealers said. The commercials were scheduled to begin airing Thursday, June 15.
In the commercials, Hicks sings a new song, "Possibilities," and dances on a stage ringed with video images of Ford vehicles. Ford's new "Bold Moves" tag line is attached to the ads.
Ford has prepared versions for dealers to use in regional and local advertising.
Some dealers who previewed the commercials like the continuation of Ford's tie-in with "American Idol."
"It's upbeat. Using this 'American Idol' guy is probably a good move," said Mike Mellow, a Ford dealer in Placerville, Calif. "He's just goofy enough to get people's attention."
Ford, which sponsors "American Idol," also is using a song by first-year winner Kelly Clarkson to anchor its "Bold Moves" campaign.
Ford is sticking with its "Drive on Us" incentive program, launched this month, to fuel the clearance sale. Under that program, almost all 2006 Ford models are available with 0 percent financing for 36, 60 or 72 months. Buyers also get a prepaid MasterCard debit card worth $1,000 or $1,100, meant to be used toward gasoline purchases. The program runs through July.
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