The F-150 has been the pickup truck sales king for 29 years, and when Ford redesigned its breadwinner for the 2004 model year, it did so with the intention of remaining number one for the foreseeable future. Well, the current F-150 is still number one in sales for now, but fierce competition from the all-new Silverado and Toyota Tundra means that Ford has to pick up its marketing efforts to keep their full-size truck on top.

This is where Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame steps in. You've seen some of the other Ford spots featuring Rowe here on Autoblog, and now we've got another one for you. This time Ford and Rowe are taking a thinly-veiled shot at Toyota's Tundra for its four-star front impact rating from the NHTSA, which falls short of the F-150's five-star front and side impact ratings. The spot features a Ford safety engineer, who acts as Rowe's strait man. Hit the jump to take a closer look at Ford's latest salvo against the competition.

[Source: PickupTruck.com]


Ford Press Relase

"To illustrate the 2007 Ford F-150's continued leadership in safety, strength and capability, Ford picks apart its half-ton competition in two new ads starring Mike Rowe, creator and star of Discovery Channel's hit show, "Dirty Jobs." In this second round of Ford F-150 ads since January 2007, Rowe is joined by two hard-working Ford truck engineers as they highlight the F-150's superior features.

"The Ford F-150 is built consistently with better parts that give it more strength and capability to help customers get more work done," says Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Division Marketing. "That's how you build 30 years of truck leadership."

In the first ad, Rowe and Paul Angove, a Ford truck suspension engineer, review leaf spring bolts used by Ford and four key truck competitors. Angove highlights how the Ford F-150's bolts are the biggest and strongest. Since these bolts take on some of the heaviest suspension loads, they are key in making the 2007 Ford F-150 the strongest, most capable truck in its class.

In the second ad, Rowe and Bill McDonald, a supervisor in Ford's crash barrier facility, watch an F-150 in a dramatic crash test. McDonald, a 29-year Ford veteran, shares with Rowe that the 2007 F-150 received the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) highest safety rating (five stars) for driver and front passenger, a rating some top truck competitors have not earned. The safety ad begins airing on national television on May 1, followed shortly afterwards by the leaf-spring bolt spot. The ads will be accompanied by similar print and online ads.

The ads were inspired by a "Truth About Trucks" campaign Ford launched in 2003 to enumerate the F-150's lengthy list of under-the-skin advantages versus competitors. The campaign in broadcast, print and point-of-purchase advertisements has communicated to customers that F-Series trucks are stronger and more capable than competitors with the straightforward "Built Ford Tough" product promise. This consistent message enjoys decades of brand equity, nearly matching Ford's truck leadership for an unprecedented 30 consecutive years.

The new ads starring Mike Rowe, as well as other print and online communications, will reinforce these under-the-skin advantages that continue to make the 2007 Ford F-150 the leader. Ford dealers also are capitalizing on the F-150's leadership story by distributing it to sales consultants through videos that detail the truck's numerous advantages."



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