Ford will be spending $80 million dollars on a marketing blitz to educate the public on its new Edge CUV. Now we all know how important the Edge is to Ford's fortunes, so a monster marketing budget isn't a big surprise. A large portion of the monies will go to MSN.com, which is setting up the URL ideasfromtheedge.msn.com to host a website community that alerts visitors to events in 25 cities that will promote the Edge. In the deal, MSN.com is reportedly guaranteeing an undisclosed amount of traffic to the site, which it will likely generate through ads and editorials on its home page and MSN Autos.
More after the jump.
Ford has also secured the help of someone named Kelis, which various sources tell us is a hip-hop singer (man, we gotta keep up on our MTV/VH1). Kelis truly sold out in the most brazen way by penning a song just for Ford's CUV called "Push it to the Edge," which no doubt will be up for a Grammy, we're sure. She'll also be in magazine ads, radio spots and various Edge sweepstakes. As my buddy from college used to say, "She's not selling out, she's buying in." Either way, Kelis will be the point person for the Edge marketing campaign from here on out. (BTW - I wrote this entire post before realizing Kelis is a woman).
Ford deserves credit for diving head first into the murky waters of internet advertising, and the Edge campaign will be its deepest foray yet. The Blue Oval has even done its fair share of viral video with the wrecked GT500 video. For $80 million, however, the Edge's marketing campaign doesn't appear to offer anything new. Sure, when you throw around that kind of cash, you're guaranteed to get a certain number of eyeballs, but JWT, Ford's ad agency in Detroit, could've come up with something more original than a MySpace page ripoff and a hip-hop freshman for that kind of money.