The new pony car is the first major redo since the 2005 model-year redesign. Ford won't show the car until the Los Angeles auto show this year, but has begun running promotional spots presaging the car. The shorts were not made by Ford's ad agency, but by members of a filmmakers' Web community called Filmaka.com.
Filmaka's members were asked to submit a script about the car. The site says almost 400 scripts were submitted by filmmakers worldwide, with 22 semifinalists chosen to produce their films. JWT Team Detroit and Filmaka chose 10 winners.
The first of the winning films--which are also on www.The2010Mustang.com--aired last week during the premiere of NBC's "Knight Rider," which happens to feature the Ford Shelby GT500KR as the talking car.
The other winners' films will also run during broadcasts of the show as 30- and 60-second trailers, and will each get $5,000. The grand-prize winner gets to direct a promotional film for the 2010 Mustang launch. The full films are on the Web site, which houses specs of the new car and teaser videos.
Wes Brown, auto industry consultant with Iceology, Los Angeles, says that the forthcoming Mustang probably will not look markedly different from the current one.
"When the current Mustang came out, it made a strong enough statement to bring in a flood of loyalists, and broadened the buyer base," he says. "It stood out from other vehicles in the segment." But, he says, many of the changes were cosmetic, and the engine, suspension and technology were similar to the previous model.
He says there will likely be renewed interest in the segment with Camaro (which launches in first quarter 2009), Challenger and the 2009 Nissan 370Z also due out next year. "There will be extra interest and buzz in the sporty car segment--and I think, therefore, for the 2010 Mustang to go beyond just getting Ford loyalists the [drive train and technology] will have to be significantly upgraded."
Sales of the Mustang fell 29% last month to 8,197 vehicles, from 11,512 the year before. Sales year-to-date are off 25.7%