The Iacocca-led Fairlane Committee at Ford that created the Mustang picked the World's Fair as the car's launch venue. Farr said the decision was a shrewd move, one that maximized publicity by introducing the car to the members of the press, automotive and nonautomotive, already covering the fair. As the only car shown there, the Mustang was the automotive game in town.
"The one big thing that made it different was that they introduced it in April not in September -- it was introduced all by itself," Farr said. "It wasn't going to be absorbed with all the publicity for new Chevrolets or something else."
The World's Fair introduction was widely covered by the press. Iacocca and the Mustang appeared on the covers of the Time and Newsweek that hit newsstands the week of the Mustang's introduction, something only President Kennedy had done before that.
Ford took out ads in more than 2,600 U.S. newspapers announcing the Mustang's arrival, reaching some 75 percent of American households, Automotive News reported at the time. Ads for the car appeared in 24 of the country's biggest magazines.
On the eve of the introduction, Ford sponsored half-hour programs about the Mustang on NBC, ABC and CBS, reaching an estimated 29 million people, and it ran spots heavily on 24 TV shows during the car's initial launch.
Ford even bought advertising for its advertising. A TV Guide ad promoted the Ford-sponsored Mustang programs on the major networks. "The most exciting thing you will see on television tonight is a commercial," the ad said.
The result was an undeniable success. The 47,000 Mustangs that Ford planned to build through May 1964 were sold out days after the car went on sale. U.S. sales hit more than 400,000 units in the first 12 months and the Mustang became the first nameplate in U.S. auto industry history to sell a million units in 24 months.
Mustang advertising touted the car's standard features, sportiness, good looks and the long list of options that consumers could choose from to customize their ride.
But perhaps the most important attribute in early Mustang ads was its starting price of $2,368.
The Mustang's low entry price made it affordable to the young baby boomers for whom the car was created. Widely promoting the car's base price was so important to the car's mission that Ford broke its own policy of not including a price in national advertising, a practice that was in place at Ford for decades.
"Not since before the war has Ford featured a nationally advertised price in a major advertising campaign," Chase Morsey Jr., Ford Division national marketing manager, told Automotive News in March 1964. "Yet the price of the Mustang is such a key ingredient in our marketing plans for this car that price will be included in virtually all of our national advertising beginning at announcement day."