Ford Launches Urban-Market Push For '11 Explorer

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Comedian and actor Kevin Hart stars in a new Ford campaign touting the 2011 Ford Explorer. The TV, print, radio and push will break on BET's The Game. A 60-second version of the ad broke during the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on TNT.

Shawn Lollie, Ford manager of multicultural marketing, says the effort is designed to extend the non-traditional focus of the Explorer campaign. The vehicle launched last year with a stunt in New York's Herald Square, where the car was unveiled, and via Facebook.

Recent TV spots for the vehicle are meant to appeal to an active-lifestyle consumer with a rough, amateur-video style and a "Go.Do." theme. The company just launched a general-market extension of the campaign, called "Go. Do. Adventure." in which consumers compete for chance to have their dream adventure by suggesting on the Explorer Facebook site what that adventure would entail.

"Ford has been using unique ways to talk to consumers. We wanted to create a campaign that would follow this same strategy while also adding an unexpected twist of comedy," said Lollie.

The urban effort, via the UniWorld Group, Ford's African American AOR, centers on an ad showing Hart arriving very late for his brother's wedding in a 2011 Ford Explorer. As he speeds into the wedding he creates a disturbance where the Explorer steals the spotlight from the bride and groom. During the spot, Hart highlights the Terrain Management System in the SUV and how he traveled through sand, mud and water to arrive at the wedding.

He also shows off Explorer's seven-passenger seating capacity by packing the entire rear of the vehicle with wedding gifts -- all while cheering on the "crazy" factor of the SUV.

Digital elements will also be on FordUrban.com. Kevin Hart-voiced radio spots that will air on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Steve Harvey Morning Show and on Radio One stations nationwide.

The TV ads will appear on BET, TV One, NCC and TBS while the print ads will appear in Black Enterprise, Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Ebony, Essence, Jet, Upscale, Uptown and Rolling Out.

"We are constantly looking for unique ways to introduce our product to our target consumer," said Lillie. "This campaign is a real testament to how you can creatively use comedy to appeal to your consumers while simultaneously introducing them to the unique features of a new product."

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