Sarah Webster has an interesting thought in her article that appears in the Detroit News called "Ford's chick brand?" She questions whether Ford is intentionally positioning Mercury as a chick auto brand in order to save it from extinction. She cites Mercury's marketing campaign that includes sponsoring films out of a Glamour magazine contest, makeovers during Fashion Week in NYC and a random Make Your Day giveaway of haircuts, manicures and coffee.
Mercury's official position is that it's gender-neutral, although advertising experts clearly see the brand being directed at women. Experts say the risk of this strategy is that you can sell a woman a man's car, but you can't sell a man a woman's car. While that school of thought may prevent other brands from marketing themselves entirely to women, Mercury's strategy of playing to the ladies seems to be working. The brand's sales are up 3.9% this year after hitting rock bottom last year.

If Ford is actually marketing an entire brand to women, we think it's not a bad idea. One of Mercury's biggest problems to date has been its lack of identity. Sure, Ford has to be careful to not go off the deep end make pink powder-coated alloy wheels an available option, but its current designs and marketing campaign appear well targeted at women without completely alienating men.

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