LAS VEGAS — Ford Motor Co. is transforming its business for the future, but it wants consumers to know that it's still very good at building the cars and trucks on sale today.
The automaker over the weekend planned to debut a new marketing campaign, "Built Ford Proud," in a series of print ads and TV commercials that play up the company's 115-year history and family heritage while taking shots at rivals such as Tesla, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
"The company's got its swagger back," Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets, told reporters here. "We think customers are ready to hear directly from a company that says, 'Here's what we're about, this is what makes us different and we hope you like it.' "
The TV spots, to have aired during Saturday's college football games and set to run through 2019, feature actor Bryan Cranston. Ford gave its dealers who gathered last week in Las Vegas a first glimpse of the commercials.
In one spot, "The Future is Built," Cranston pokes fun at companies that "talk about the future."
"You see, talk doesn't get things done. Building does," he says over an instrumental of "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones. "So let the other guys keep dreaming about the future. We'll be the ones building it."
In another commercial shown to dealers, featuring the Escape crossover, Ford takes aim at Tesla and its celebrity CEO, Elon Musk.
"It's never been referred to as fancy," Cranston says. "It's never been launched into space. It's never waited for anyone important on the tarmac. And it couldn't care less, because the Ford Escape proudly sits in over 2 million garages. And that was intentional."