A new ad for the Ford Freestyle features what looks like a perfectly happy couple on the beach--until the end twist reveals that Mom and Dad are divorced. "Thanks for inviting me this weekend," he
tells his ex-wife and, as the vehicle pulls away, a voice-over intones: "Bold moves: They happen every day."
Perhaps the daring move here really belongs to Ford. Although millions of
Americans have been divorced and millions of children no longer share an address with both parents, that is almost never reflected in advertising. And it could stay that way, some marketers predict,
because most advertisers prefer to evoke images of happy nuclear families when pushing their products.
But the Freestyle ad has done exactly what it was supposed to do: create buzz and get
people talking. And if the move is seen as a success, consumers will see more ads that show unconventional relationships. After all, "we don't live in the world of Ozzie and Harriet anymore," says
Alan Siegel, chairman of Siegel + Gale, a brand strategy firm in New York. "Advertising has to reflect what is going on in society."
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