Ford Unlearn campaign

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Ford Unlearn campaign

Going to wash that car right out of my? The launch of the new Ford Unlearn campaign is interestingly creative as it is strategic. Those who have driven Escorts, Focus’s and Mondeo’s, should get a firm mind grip on the message. The communication is subtle if not obvious.

Ford have built a firm reputation for producing strong economy and mid-range vehicles that represent good value and performance. Straight forward and simple. Richard Beard, the marketing manager for Ford of Britain, told Campaign magazine that UK consumers tend to view the brand as centred on family vehicles. The company has a new performance range to promote, including the Mustang, which launched at the end of 2015, and the Edge SUV and GT, which will be available later this year’.

Historically, Ford have been unsuccessful in developing a highly respected Executive Car. The Granada of the seventies and Scorpio of the eighties & nineties were both disappointing compered to their competition. In purchasing Jaguar in 1990 (now sold to Tata Motors of India 2008) they acquired an established quality car manufacturer of strong reputation but their managing of that brand was again not dynamic or innovative, leaving several Jaguar enthusiasts insulted.

Beard said “We wanted people to think about the Ford brand and move on from some ideas they have. It’s a great opportunity to encourage people to reappraise us.” As part of the campaign, Ford is also unveiling a new look for its logo by taking some liberties with the traditional Ford oval—much as Ford’s recent US marketing campaign has done—moving the iconic script outside the oval with splashes of colour in the place of the traditional white font.

So what do the audience need to “unlearn”? Beard: In the past decade or so we haven’t paid enough attention here to the emotional connection that people have with Ford so they would carry it forward to other generations. That’s the reappraisal. We don’t want them to move away from the unique position that Ford has in Britain. We just want them to open up their minds to the fact that this year, particularly, Ford is active and present in markets and segments they might not have imagined.

The campaign will run throughout the year and includes online influencers who will create content for the brand and challenge people to let go of limiting beliefs.
The ad was written by Matt Skolar, art directed by Eoghain Clarke, and directed by Steve Cope through 2AM. Mindshare handled the media planning and buying. Below the writers discuss their work and strategy.


Kiefer Brittaney, Ford ‘Campaign asks people to ‘unlearn’ what they know about the world. January 18 2016

Buss Dale, ‘Unlearn’ Ford: 5 Questions with UK Marketing Manager Richard Beard’ January 20 2016

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