Ford Motor Co. has selected BBDO as its lead creative agency, replacing WPP in that role. Wieden + Kennedy will be used as a “creative and innovation partner for specific projects,” according to the automaker.
“WPP remains a key part of a multi-agency team, leading activation for Ford -- including media planning, media buying, shopper and performance marketing, website development, customer relationship marketing as well as multicultural and Tier 2 dealer advertising,” according to Ford.
WPP will also continue to handle Ford advertising in China, all Lincoln advertising via Hudson Rouge, and all Ford public relations.
Ford says it is “redesigning its marketing operations globally to elevate the 115-year-old iconic brand.” A new global marketing approach -- part of a series of actions Ford’s taking to become more customer-centered -- is expected to yield $150 million in efficiencies annually. Ford also is creating more than 100 new in-house global marketing positions tied to brand design, media tools, technologies and partnerships as well as digital labs and customer experience.
"Today is a big big day,” says Andrew Robertson, BBDO president and CEO, in a statement. “We have a wonderful new brand to help build. I could not be more proud of the hundreds of people around the world who made this happen, or more grateful to Ford for their confidence in us.”
The agency handled Mercedes global creative up until earlier this year, when it lost the account to Publicis. BBDO previously handled the Dodge brand from 1960 to 2010.
Digital experience agency Organic and TLGG Consulting, part of the newly formed Omnicom Precision Marketing Group were a part of the core pitch team along with BBDO.
Ford says it is leaning more heavily toward emerging tools and technologies to personalize marketing communications and offers to in-market buyers, plus even greater use of digital platforms.
“Ford already is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world,” said Joy Falotico, Ford group vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “In this pivotal moment of reinvention and transformation, we’re excited to partner with world-class creative agencies to unlock the full potential of the iconic Blue Oval.”
The automaker began reviewing the $4 billion account in April. W+K was selected in August to complete an upcoming brand campaign.
“Working together to help build the future of the Ford Motor Company is as big, as interesting and as exciting as it gets,” Neal Arthur, managing director, W+K New York, says in a statement. “They have the people, the brand and the vision to lead the industry and we're humbled to be able to play a role at this moment in their history.”
BBDO begins transitioning to its new role on Nov. 1, working closely with Ford’s team of ad agencies and company marketing experts.
“WPP will be responsible for activating the Ford brand through key channels and regions, through its global Ford agency GTB as well as other WPP agencies, while Ford has appointed another agency as its lead creative agency,” according to a statement from WPP.
Ford’s evaluation of its global marketing and advertising strategy is part of the company’s work to improve its overall fitness and realize its ambition to become the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, according to the automaker.
The marketing redesign comes as Ford prepares to launch a raft of new products in the U.S. and the world.
--with Steve McClellan