An interesting 20 seconds from Ford and WPP – for three reasons

First because it’s for the New Focus which is emerging as the base model for the whole Ford range in the US as well as Europe, the first time a big US manufacturer has majored on a European model in its home market without US-style tweaks.

Second because this ad (one of a series) features Ford’s claim that the Focus can ‘park itself’ even though there’s a driver at the wheel. Now if it can really park itself that’s a big USP but this just seems to mean super-duper parking assistance rather the ability to do it on its own. So there’ll be complaints from competitors.

Third because the campaign is from ‘Blue Hive’ which, according to Marketing, is a WPP mini-agency created to handle Ford.

Does this mean that Ogilvy & Mather in the UK is no longer Ford’s agency? Is Blue Hive just O&M with bells and whistles or something more?

Lots of car companies do this to an extent of course, Volvo has its mini-agency in Amsterdam and at the other end of this particular spectrum from Volvo and Blue Hive is Jaguar which has just dumped Euro RSCG in favour of its own start-up agency Spark 44.

Which is a bit odd really. Procter & Gamble and Unilever don’t appear to see the need for their own agency or bit of an agency and advertising plays a bigger part in their business than it does in most car companies.

But car companies are notorious for wanting to do things their way, habitually eschewing anything original for the broadcast version of moving wallpaper (something of a generalisation I know).

Truly a diverting 20 seconds.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.