Ford Escape Finds New Points of Inspiration – Real People/Employees

BrandChannel and  note: Ford has been putting “real people” in many of its ads for a while now, including the “Swap Your Ride” subjects hobnobbing with Mike Rowe and the actual Ford owners who were peppered with questions by fake reporters in the brand’s controversial staged press conference stunt.

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Now positioning their own workers as real people, the brand’s marketers are now putting put actual Ford employees into ads promoting the 2013 Ford Escape crossover-utility vehicle. The campaign aims to show how Ford’s people are demonstrating their internal drive to “Go Further,” the tagline centerpiece of Ford’s new global brand positioning. Ford also is launching a new web-only video comedy series behind the nameplate as well.

“We don’t have a blanket strategy now to always do real people in ads, but in a lot of cases we’re finding it does work,” Scott Kelly, Ford’s communications manager, told brandchannel. “We look at it campaign by campaign. Where it does work, it’s all about being as authentic as possible.”

In the case of Escape, the ads feature four different designers or engineers who have actually worked on aspects of the new vehicle. Ford engineer Vince Mahe, for instance, “grew up on two continents and noticed that wherever you go, people have their hands full — but their feet free,” as the commercial above says. Then it reveals that Mahe helped design the hands-free lift gate of Escape that opens when it senses a foot waggle beneath the rear bumper.

One of the ads tells viewers about Ford engineer Vince Mahe and his innovation—a liftgate that you operate with your foot. When Mahe noticed that ususally people have their hands full and their feet free, he developed Escape’s new hands-free liftgate.

Other ads showcase Ford designer Erika Tsubaki who developed the Escape’s functional design, powertrain engineer Scott Makowski, who worked on the EcoBoost engine, and HMI (Human Machine Interface) engineer Jennifer Brace, who contributed to the development of SYNC with MyFord Touch.

“We’re telling a great story about how our employees were inspired and motivated to go further and create the features and technology that set the Escape apart from the rest of the competition in the SUV segment,” said Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. Marketing Communications.

All of the Escape ads feature the Go Further messaging: ‘It’s what happens when you go further.’

Another commercial features Jennifer Brace, an interface engineer who has worked to make the MyFord Touch system in the vehicle as user-friendly and eager-to-please as a well-trained dog would be. Putting her human face on the technology may be especially timely given renewedcriticism of the MyFord Touch infotainment system by influential Consumer Reports.