• Jan 4, 2007


The Bold Moves marketing campaign from Ford has taken on many facets, but the one we're most familiar is with of the boob tube variety, a.k.a. commercials. Like most automotive marketing campaigns, the ad agency got involved early and produced some airy, feel-good spots that show your average Joes doing "bold" things. They no doubt scored highly with focus groups, but no one would credit an ounce of the Fusion's success so far with these spots that are designed to elecit emotions, but instead draw yawns. Again, like most automotive marketing campaigns, Ford dealers have likely complained loud enough now about these ads that the Blue Oval had to make a substantive change, so this morning Ford debuted a new set of ads that showcase some hard numbers and objective (we hope) information.

The commercials show a three-way showdown between the AWD Fusion V6, Honda Accord EX-L V6 and Toyota Camry XLE V6. Called the Fusion Challenge, this event was organized by Car and Driver, which got 600 of its subscribers to come out and drive these vehicles. They were then subjected to the classic Pepsi Challenge schtick, and the Fusion wound up beating its Japanese competitors in the hearts and minds of these subscribers. Bam! Instant commercial content that will no doubt strike a more resonant chord with buyers than the previous spots.

The Jalopnik folk have questioned the validity of the challenge itself considering that it was organized by Car & Driver, which accepts many hundreds of thousands of dollars from Ford each year in the form of ad dollars. Who knows how valid the challenge actually is, but could you imagine the awkwardness if Car and Driver's subscribers had chosen Coke instead of Pepsi in this case?

[Source: Ford, Jalopnik]





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 60 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      All of you that posted about the price point, you're absolutely right. Consumer products, whether cell phones, microwaves, or cars are all price point based and marketed as such. It is such the American market. Thats why Walmart is such a powerful retailer. Not all products have the luxury of breaking the price point game in lieu of other attributes that make it a demanded consumer good.

      I'm guessing you guys aren't in the know about marketing and product development companies. I work for a pretty big consumer product company in marketing.

      Its all marketing. Its about how much you can claim without getting sued for it. Your competition is claiming all kinds of stuff and you have to put out these fires or you will burn.

      Yes, they took some liberties in this commercial about performance over Honda and Toyota, but its not as "official" as Consumer Reports findings as well. Consumer Reports and JD Power & Assoc, are fine, but if you wanted to get really scientific about their research, its not as objective as you would think. Honda and Toyotas have their recalls and failures as well.

      The comparison is as per price point (I was generous with the competitive model trim levels, sourced from yahoo auto):

      2007 Ford Fusion SEL V6 AWD MSRP: $23,875

      2007 Honda Accord SE V6 FWD MSRP: $23,350

      2007 Toyota Camry LE V6 FWD MSRP: $23,340
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are only a few markets (areas of snow) where AWD comes in handy with family sedans. If it was a market that was significant, then Honda and Toyota would build AWD sedans. But they don't. Instead they fit them with traction control, which is probably more cost beneficial for them.

      C/D might not have used the Fusion in their latest car comparison because they knew it wouldn't fare as well as the manipulated "paid for" test with the Honda/Toyota and thus people would see that C/D was fooling them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford shows the same handsome looking young man, and the attractive blond girl in its TV ads, and on its website.
      What are the chance these two young, sexually attractive people are actors?
      • 8 Years Ago
      best handling, yeah. the more i think about it the more i like these ads actually. most of my 'run of the mill' used honda/toyota driving friends (non celica, Si cars) oft laud me for being an enthusiast explaining cars are just a means of transportation. in-between attempts to quiet the fists of death, I understand that that is indeed a very large part of the car buying audience. thus i've come 180 on this, the fusion does handle well, most if not all who review it mark it as such, not it won't last as long as a camry or toyota but that's not the point. I'm glad Ford's marketing a strength of it's car as opposed to a weakness (ala the dodge calibre 'it's not cute ad').
      • 8 Years Ago
      #62 The Fusion uses the same platform used by the Mazda 6, it doesn't mean that the Fusion is a Mazda 6.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let me first state that I didnt watch the video... So let me get this straight..they based the outcome on handling/driving performance? In this class of vehicles? LOLOLOLLL..nice to start out the day with a chuckle

      Why did they liken this test to the pepsi commercial though? Did they blindfold the people and let them drive each car? Putting them in the passenger seat wouldnt do much and having them see what they were driving is adding subjectivity to the test.... :)
      • 8 Years Ago
      #3, I understand your reasoning, but as you say Toyota and Honda don't offer AWD models. I would expect a test like this to use the best each model has to offer within the same price range, because that's what a consumer will likely look at. If the AWD Fusion isn't a significant amount more money (and I don't think it is), then that seems reasonable. This isn't an industry standard benchmark being performed; it's a test of what people like. If there existed an AWD Accord or Camry and only a FWD one was used, then I'd agree with your complaint.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13, It'd be easier to respect what you say if you didn't make up the (absurdly high) number 98%. It's pretty ridiculous to think only 2% of midsize car buyers consider performance.

      Anyway, what REALLY matters? You mean like quality and reliability? Because now Camry and Accord are losing on that front too. They're probably better in fuel economy, but probably only a couple mpg, and for all we know that could change with the new EPA ratings. What DO you want them to be compared on? Whatever it takes so "Camry and Accord would come on top!"?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "This month, C & D retested the Camry, Accord, Kia Optima (instead of the Sonata), the new Sebring, and maybe one or two other cars...."

      NOW THAT, is a bogus test when you zero in on the Kia Optima in place of the Sonata, THEY ARE NOT EVEN THE SAME PLATFORM. The Sonata platform is shared with the Santa Fe. Although the previous Optima WAS based on the *previous* gen Sonata, it's simply no longer that way. The new Optima is actually based on the Hyundai Elantra platform.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Your point about the results not reflecting C&D is stupid. The ad is supposed to show how regular people reacted to the cars, not C&D editors."

      Er, no. You're retarded for not reading correctly. Read my comment again, I said C&D SUBSCRIBERS, not C&D EDITORS. C&D SUBSCRIBERS don't reflect C&D editors. No wonder these ads work so well, people can barely understand English. Allow me to quote my comment again, in caps so you can get it across your thick skull:

      "The other thing is that *C&D SUBSCRIBERS* don't really reflect the mainstream consumer demographic."
      • 8 Years Ago
      >> if 98% of Camry/Accord/Fusion customers don't care about peformance, then why do all three cars offer a 200+ hp V-6?

      Because that's what you need to get one of those 3500lb + porkers moving down the road when there's 4 people in it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Man if only the 243-hp Subaru Legacy doesn't start at $28,920. And man the 243-hp subaru only comes fully loaded, and can't be had for any cheaper, unless you settle for 175-hp.
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