Ford Freestyle

Ford Freestyle - One Vehicle. Endless Possibilities

Source: Ford Motor Company Press Release

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 15, 2004 – This fall, customers won’t have to choose between a car and an SUV – they can get the best of both in the all-new 2005 Freestyle. To introduce its new segment buster, Ford’s advertising will showcase Freestyle as a product that bridges the gap between vehicles – delivering car-like fuel economy and great ride and handling, along with the all-wheel-drive capability and versatility of an SUV. One vehicle. Endless possibilities.

"Freestyle is a new class of vehicle designed to meet the needs of the next generation of families," said Rich Stoddart, marketing communications manager, Ford Division. "It has a dynamic and hip attitude that really sets it apart from any other product, and our advertising reflects that."

Television Advertising

Two 30-second television commercials, titled "Holds Everything" and "Goes Anywhere," establish Freestyle as a new vehicle that’s as multi-dimensional and vibrant as its thirty-something owners – people you’d never catch in a minivan. These ads, and the broader marketing campaign, were developed in conjunction with J. Walter Thompson USA.

Set to the beat of edgy, modern music, the ads show Freestyle flash through a multitude of scenarios: on the town and in the country, in all kinds of weather, with one or many passengers and all of their gear – everything from ski equipment, to furniture to a ladder. Viewers even catch a glimpse of a mirrored disco ball dangling from the headliner. The voiceover tells viewers, "Combining the things you love about a car with the stuff you need from an SUV. The totally new Ford Freestyle: One vehicle. Endless possibilities." Both spots end with Ford Division’s new theme line, "Built for the Road Ahead."

Print Advertising

As one print ad tells readers, "We’ve built cars and SUVs for years. Just never in one vehicle."

Beginning this week, one- and two-page print ads will invite customers to "Meet the totally new Ford Freestyle." With copy like, "Modern Transportation. Remixed." and "One part car. One part SUV. Add life, and mix," the ads target consumers who are independent, hip, and active.

Ad placements include news magazines, entertainment magazines, and lifestyle publications, including Time, Cargo, Runner’s World, Dwell, InStyle Home, Real Simple and National Geographic Travel. Like the television commercials, the print ads include Ford’s new "Built for the Road Ahead" divisional theme line.

Digital

Ford’s marketing launch plans for the all-new Freestyle include an unconventional presence on fordvehicles.com. New Freestyle content will debut Oct. 18, presenting a fun and informative interpretation of Freestyle’s features. An interactive ‘Mixmaster’ feature, connected to product attributes, will allow consumers browsing the website to create and e-mail their own Freestyle music mix. The interactive site also explains Freestyle’s CVT technology, safety features and other product attributes. Consumers will see Freestyle take over major portals like AOL.com, MSN, and YAHOO! on Nov. 3 and 4. Ford also will have interactive banners on in-market sites such as Car & Driver HP, Edmunds, and Cars.com.

Brand Integration

Ford’s integrated marketing efforts for the all-new Freestyle underscore the vehicle’s versatility and capability. Because it was designed to meet the needs of active young families, Freestyle will be among the Ford vehicles that will make a special appearance on ABC’s "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" – a program that helps put families in need back on the road ahead. Freestyle’s flexibility also will be put to the test when the vehicle joins The Weather Channel’s Road Crew this season.

College football fans across the country have a chance to check out the new Freestyle this fall by taking part in "The Freestyle Ultimate Tailgate Experience." The mobile entertainment exhibit tours 13 NCAA college football games this season. Besides providing time in the driver’s seat, the program includes interactive challenges, such as the Freestyle "Passing Lane," allowing contestants to test their quarterback skills.

Ford also is joining with Coca-Cola© on its Football Town USA Tour in 49 markets. Combined, these two tours will give almost half a million consumers the opportunity to experience Freestyle. In addition, millions of viewers will see Freestyle make weekly appearances on ESPN’s "Friday Night Tailgate."

Besides reaching out to consumers on the sports scene, Freestyle will be featured at several major cinematic events, including the Telluride Film Festival (September 2004), Santa Barbara Film Festival (February 2005), and LA Film Festival (June 2005). Early next year, Freestyle also will sponsor Family Fun Winter Carnivals in Vermont, Colorado and California.

Multicultural Marketing

Ford’s multicultural advertising for the all-new 2005 Freestyle communicates how well the versatile vehicle fits diverse lifestyles. Each ad is targeted to specific audiences in a unique and creative way. Zubi Advertising, Uniworld Group and PanCom International have integrated media campaigns for Hispanic, African-American, and Asian-American audiences, respectively.

A 30-second television ad titled "Two Worlds" demonstrates that Freestyle is well suited to bridge the Hispanic and American cultures. It begins airing Oct. 28 on Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura networks.

"Multiple Personality" expresses the diversity of African-American lifestyles in one character, a man of varied talents who discovers that Freestyle’s outstanding product attributes fuel his flair for the dramatic. The commercial begins airing Oct. 18 on NBC, TNT, BET, TV-One and THN.

"Shadow" asks, "Is Freestyle a car or an SUV?" as it demonstrates the new vehicle’s outstanding handling and unique versatility. Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese versions of the commercial will air on the International Channel and on several stations in California beginning Oct. 18.