Is Doug the Ford Focus puppet brilliant viral marketing or just mad?

Doug is like an orange version of Kermit from Jim Henson’s Muppets who was invented by Ford to put a human face on its activities. Somehow or other he seemed appropriate for a company that was taking a huge bet on smaller cars, chiefly the European-style Focus.

But such creatures can outstay their welcome; cute can become annoying and irrelevant quite quickly. Here’s a recent manifestation of Doug, accompanied by long-suffering handler John.

Ford has also released a handful of films showing Doug (and John, who’s rather good) pitching the Focus to Automobile magazine editor Jean Jennings and her staff. Here’s one.

The hacks look, alternately, amused, baffled and bored. As, I suspect, are most of those who encounter Doug.

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