Ford’s 50th anniversary 2015 Mustang is backed by a campaign starting with a big native content program, Icon Fifty, with the likes of Zagat, ESPN The Magazine, Mashable, and Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos. The car will get a global campaign because it is officially a global car -- but also because it really is a halo car, a vehicle that is intrinsic to the Ford brand, rather than being an outliers niche car with a tenuous relationship to the parent at best. Marketing Daily talks about the car with Jim Farley, Ford's global head of marketing.
Q: For a lot of -- maybe most -- Americans, Mustang is Ford. Is that true in other countries?
A: In other countries people mention Mustang with the Ford brand even if they don't buy or own a Mustang. It is one of the few vehicles that has sold for 50 years uninterrupted, and it really is critical to the brand globally. And it has a huge influence on the primary brand. It's like 911 for Porsche, which probably sells mostly SUVs today. 911 still drives that brand. It is a vehicle that highly correlates to the base attributes of and is highly mentioned with the brand.
Q: I guess highly aspirational and high volume is the ideal?
A: In our business, it's great to have a vehicle that's both high-volume and captures the essence of the brand, because when you make an improvement on the product people give you credit, whether you are buying a Focus, or Fiesta or something else. That's why we have put a lot of resources behind this.
Q: Where do you see highest demand for the new Mustang?
A: In the U.S. but we are going to get surprised by China, and there will be initial huge demand in Germany and the U.K. and places we have never sold before, like Australia. There are huge numbers of owner clubs around the world. There’s even one in Iceland. We have almost 8 million Facebook fans and something on the order of 120 clubs.
Q: Is there a marketing challenge?
A: It’s that the product is so well understood, do you spend the money to sell it or do you spend the money to remind people what Ford's about? Going in, our thinking was let's get people in the U.K., Germany, and other markets excited about the new Ford. So we put our marketing focus together to influence people -- many of whom haven't considered Ford, especially in the U.S. They know Ford is doing better, are glad about that, but haven't really considered a C-Max, Fusion or Focus. For those people, Mustang is an opportunity to connect with us. So, yes, that's how we came up with this program.
Q: Are you going to do TV ads, especially in the U.S., or mostly digital?
A: Soon we will have something to share about that in the U.S. Given Mustang's role in our portfolio and what it means for our brand, when you look at broadcast or any major media platforms, we have to make a decision how mainstream we go with the launch. But it's our intention to do that.