• Jul 31, 2009
Click above to watch videos after the jump

While the Taurus name still carries very strong awareness with customers, Ford needs to show the car-buying public that the 2010 model has an entirely new level of class and refinement. To accomplish its goal, the flagship sedan's new marketing campaign is ignoring competitors like the Honda Accord and instead going after the luxury competition.

New online ads will pit the 2010 Taurus, which starts at $26,000, against competition that costs $60,000 or more. In one spot, the Taurus goes head to head with the much more expensive Lexus LS. Both vehicles will be driving behind a leaky gravel hauler to show that the Ford has a better paint job. In another spot featuring the Infiniti M45X, Ford aims to show that the Taurus has a more sophisticated radar system. Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore tells the Detroit News that his company is flattered to be chosen by Ford as a benchmark, but "our entry-level Infiniti G beat the Taurus in a head-to-head test by Edmunds.com."

Ford says the ads aren't targeting luxury car buyers, but instead they are meant to tout the Taurus' advanced technology. Analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics LLP likes Ford's approach, since many vehicles in the segment don't have the same level of tech as the Taurus. Hall isn't so sure, however, if the online ads go far enough to distinguish the new Taurus from the old model. Ford's print and TV spots won't feature luxury competitors, though, instead focusing mainly on favorable reviews and technology.

Follow the jump
to view two of the new Taurus ads. In the first one, Ford takes on the Acura RL to see which vehicle has the quieter cabin. The prop? A fire-breathing drag racer, parked right between the two vehicles. The second spot features the Taurus and Lexus LS taking on the fore-mentioned gravel hauler. This commercial is pretty sweet, if only because of the slow motion chunks of rocks hitting both cars set to opera. Hat tip to Racer.

[Source: Detroit News]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd probably feel a little better about this commercial if they used this comparison to market the MKS.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I get where Ford is going, sort of like when the G8 was compared to the M5. No one who can afford a M5 was going to be swayed to buy a G8, but those that couldn't afford the M5 now had a much less expensive alternative.

      I'm curious if that campaign worked, and i'm curious if this one will. Paint quality is certainly something most people probably don't think about when buying a car and it is something that is not tested in reviews. I remember when i bought my XJR i did absolutely everything I could to avoid being behind trucks throwing stones.
        • 5 Years Ago
        These ads like to make you think about such an important purchase. Ford also likes the "real-world" advertising. Look at the F150 ads with Mike Rowe at the Ford Proving Grounds. They pit the F150 up against the Silverado, Ram, and Tundra. Ford also was able to tell the other manufacturers to try these tests. Ford is out to prove their the best, even in the most unlikely categories.

        Also, remember some of the recent Nissan commercials. They mention tests they perform on their cars for the "real world" situations. The salt water spray and other stuff.

        In the long run, this is smart campaigning. It is more than saying, "Hey! Buy this damn thing! We got great offers on it!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      These are too long. If I saw these ads on tv, my attention span would not last the commercial. It's a good strategy, but they need to condense the info in to a 30-45 second long exercise.
        • 5 Years Ago
        these are web ads. longer by design.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford does this a lot with important cars like this. If you remember last year they had all those F-150 commercials (like the one where they threw it out the back of a airplane and had it stop the whole thing) and there were the 30-60 second ones on TV and then they had longer versions online for people that wanted to see the whole thing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's all good, but for Gods sake, change that boring steering wheel in Taurus. Mazda needs to teach Ford about steering wheel design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's a smart move as it really highlights the strengths of this car without screaming "HEY WE HAVE GREAT REBATES!", but this is sort of making Lincoln (and the MKS) Ford's abused stepchild in the process; what's with that?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd say it's an interesting move, one that confirms in my mind, that Lincoln is obsolete. The Taurus looks better than the MKS, has a more reasonable price ceiling considering what one gets and has higher performance. There is no question that MKS is beaten by it's lesser platform-mate.

      I would hope though, that if they intend to keep the MKS alive and all of Lincoln for that matter, that they really do more to improve the status of the Lincoln vehicles. One couldn't even argue for the MKS because it doesn't even have substantial brand cache over the Ford brand, or Taurus name.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's impossible for this rental car to compete with other luxuries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well...that is just plain obvious.

        Hyundai builds a better luxury car than Ford could ever dream of.
      • 5 Years Ago
      one of the most famous commercials from the '60s was Ford's "Quieter than a Rolls Royce." it was true at the time, just as these commercials are true now. i think it's a great move for Ford.

      and exactly who says that Lexus has stricter environmental standards than Ford? the US has some of the toughest environmental standards in the world, and Bill Ford is a proven Greenie. for a company that supposedly tests their leathers to withstand 10+ years of direct sunlight, i really doubt they would allow substandard paint because of environmental standards. i think Ford has a good point here. I've seen many of the earliest Lexuses, the early 90s, with badly fading and chipped paint jobs. i bike past an ES300 everyday that looks like it was washed with Brillo and Comet, and it has been garaged most of it's life.

      Bring on the high-priced competitors, Ford!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is a freaking Taurus!!!

      I like this car, but c'mon, they can't be serious. I was just starting to like the direction Ford was going in too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, before you put it down, it was THE car that inspired all of todays curves and sexiness in cars. without it we would probably still be driving boxes.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I understand what he means. My entire family buys Ford/Lincoln/Mercury and they look down on me because while they own Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln Navigator, Mustangs, Capris, etc... I paid a "little more" and bought a chrysler 300.

        Ford cars are BORING. They all look like cop cars. The Taurus is only getting rave because its a less luxury MKS, which frankly isn't even competition for Hyundai's Genesis if you negate the wood panels inside.

        But my family holds damn-near racist hatred for non American cars.

        they didn't give me grief when I bought an S550, because for some strange reason, Benz and BMW are the only cars they look up to. Its really weird.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I like this car, but c'mon, they can't be serious."

        They can't be serious about trying to move up-market? They've been working on it for years, sounds pretty serious to me.

        Ask the same question of Hyundai - ten years ago you wouldn't want to buy a single car they offer but now? they're car of the year material.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are the problem Ford is trying to overcome... old perception is NOT today's Taurus!

        Have you even looked at or driven the car (in person) before making your erroneous statement: "It is a freaking Taurus!!! What the hell does that supposed to mean anyway?

        Sounds like you make decisions without having all the facts... do everything that way in life do you?
      • 5 Years Ago
      That would have made for some truly unique advertising!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I give it 2 more years for Ford to can Taurus once again and rebadge it as Five hundred. This car is overpriced and compared to Camry/Sonata/Altima/Accord it's interior and design is far inferior. 100 year legacy and still can't make a car that can compete in mid size market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sounds like you've been inhaling your flatulence again Azz. Altima, Camry? Haaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
        Get real, sure the Taurus has a few niggling points to correct but you have to admit it's a step up and it looked real good next to both the Lexus and Acura. Plus, neither of them can hold a candle when compared to the SHO model. I'm waiting for Ford to bring on the 3.7 Liter version with twin Turbos and 390 or so horsepower, sort out the brakes, and watch some more people get nervous across the pond.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Troll troll troll your boat
        • 5 Years Ago
        And here this whole time I was thinking the new Taurus was built to compete with the Avalon and Maxima. Boy do I feel stupid now.

        Does that mean the fusion competes with the Corolla, Civic, Elantra, and Sentra?
      • 5 Years Ago
      that car looks hawt in black. The dark red color they have been showing looks gross.

      but the real question , will Conan O'Brian get a new SHO?
    • Load More Comments