Mike Rowe Doing Tidy Job For Ford Trucks

Ford-Mike Rowe


Ford is heading into phase two of a three-part Web campaign that's all about Ford's Super Duty trucks. The effort features Mike Rowe, host of Discovery's "Dirty Jobs," who acts as tour guide and promoter for Ford's large haulers. In the latest iteration, Ford is creating a series of videos detailing the experience of several companies who got an early build version of the Super Duty to use for six months.

Rowe was first used on TV and online in a series of spots for the F-150 pickup in 2007, both in national and regional dealer-group advertising. The videos had him act as intermediary between consumers and Ford engineers, adding some entertainment value to what would otherwise be technical recitations. The current videos have him talking about the guts of Ford's 2011 Super Duty truck, with Rowe both dissecting the six-speed diesel power train and interviewing Ford engineers and designers about how the various teams developed the engine for the truck from scratch.



Eric Peterson, Ford truck and SUV communications manager, tells Marketing Daily the effort has been a boon for Ford, which has made nine videos featuring the cable star. He says Rowe is effective because he is both charismatic and perceived as "real" by the target consumer. "He is very credible and authentic and believable," says Peterson, who adds that 70% of people who watch the videos, which are at a truck micro site at, finish viewing them.

Peterson says the first phase of the campaign involved interviews with Ford engineers about the re-designed truck.

The second phase, which is in process, will culminate with webisodes about the companies' use of the truck that includes data about how the truck is operating. The final phase of the campaign, also featuring Rowe, will involve comparisons versus competitive trucks.

"The first phase is done, and now we are pre-production units to companies who use them on real commercial applications," says Peterson. He says the companies include an oil-field operation in Wyoming, Florida Power and Light, and a pair of small commercial companies in Texas, involved in stripping asphalt, will get the pre-production trucks for test use.

Peterson says Ford will do similar efforts with Rowe beyond trucks. "He will be integral for us and will play a larger role for the Ford brand," he says, adding that Rowe will be featured in videos about other vehicles continuing the "Why Ford, Why Now?" theme.

1 comment about "Mike Rowe Doing Tidy Job For Ford Trucks ".
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  1. Kevin Horne from Verizon, October 13, 2009 at 11:09 a.m.

    This article gives a great look at what is still one of the most under-developed weapons in a marketer's arsenal....fresh, value-added videos featuring products in relevant situations.

    Quite a contrast to the Doritos-like nonsense.

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