DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will highlight its vehicles' technology and fuel economy in a new national, multi-media ad campaign launching in April. The campaign, which the company calls "AND not OR," will tell consumers they don't have to make compromises to drive a Ford vehicle.
Ford will use many of the ads to raise the profile of its EcoBoost engine family, which Ford sees as a competitive advantage over rivals. It plans to bolster that pitch with a series of promotional events for the engine.
The first advertisements will highlight Ford-brand vehicles in the so-called Super Segment: the Fiesta, Focus, Escape, C-Max and Fusion. Ford is pinning its hopes of gaining U.S. market share this year on increased sales of these five vehicles. All but the C-Max Hybrid will feature EcoBoost engine options.
The campaign asks consumers how they would feel making certain unlikely compromises.
Bed or breakfast
One print ad touting the Escape features the words "Bed OR Breakfast?" and says "Best in-class highway fuel efficiency and available foot-activated liftgate. And is better. The 2013 Escape with EcoBoost."
Another ad for the Focus says: "Health OR Fitness? EPA-estimated rating of 40 mpg hwy and available voice-activated Sync technology. And is better. The 2013 Focus."
The multimedia campaign, created in cooperation with Ford's Team Detroit ad agency, will take a lighthearted tone in depicting the kinds of either-or choices customers often must make, said Amy Marentic, group marketing manager for global small cars.
For example, she said, an ad in Parenting magazine might read "macaroni OR cheese" or an ad in Rolling Stone magazine might ask "rock OR roll."
As with other recent campaigns, Ford will make extensive use of social media.
Later this year, Ford will kick off a related series of events called the EcoBoost Challenge, which are part of a promotional campaign to introduce owners of other brands to the EcoBoost engine brand.
"We invited non-Ford owners to experience Ford vehicles and competitive vehicles. This campaign will capture their unbiased feedback and impressions," said David Mondragon, general marketing manager for Ford and Lincoln. "Most buyers have to sacrifice fuel economy for performance. With EcoBoost, you don't have to."
In addition to running ads devoted to the engine family, Ford will stage EcoBoost Challenge promotional events in various locations.
EcoBoost engines combine turbocharging, direct injection and other technologies to deliver what Ford estimates is as much as 20 percent better fuel economy than larger, normally aspirated gasoline engines.
Since Ford introduced its first EcoBoost engine in mid-2009, a 3.5-liter V-6, sales have grown rapidly as Ford has installed EcoBoost engines in an increasing variety of vehicles.
Ford sold 334,364 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles in 2012, more than one-and-a-half times the number it sold in 2011. For the first two months of 2013, Ford has sold 96,890 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles, more than triple the year-earlier volume.
Ford now offers three EcoBoost engines: 1.6- and 2.0-liter four-cylinder versions and the 3.5-liter V-6. A fourth EcoBoost engine, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder version, will arrive this year in the 2014 Fiesta.