One of my son's favorite shows on the Discovery Channel after MythBusters is Dirty Jobs. Mike Rowe is the host of Dirty Jobs and on each episode he tries out various nasty jobs that real people have to do, such as skull cleaner, garbage pit technician, and owl vomit collector. Today Ford announced that Mike is joining its F-series promotional team. He'll be in a series of commercials that demonstrate the improved capabilities of the 2008 F-150 in towing and hauling heavy loads. The Ford press release is after the jump.
Mike Rowe discovers that it is the leaf spring that allows the F-Series to be the only truck in its class that can carry 3050 pounds
* Mike Rowe, creator and star of Discovery Channel's highly rated show "Dirty Jobs" will speak for Ford's 2007 F-150, the most capable pickup in its class.
* Rowe joins Ford's dream team of truck spokespeople and marketing alliances, including Toby Keith, NASCAR, Harley-Davidson™, The Home Depot and Cabela's.
DEARBORN, Mich., March 1, 2007 – More Ford F-Series trucks have driven at least 250,000 miles than any other competitor. The Ford F-150 and F-Series Super Duty can out-tow and out-haul all of their domestic and imported competition. Now, Ford has a spokesperson who has tackled as many dirty jobs as its trucks: Mike Rowe, creator and star of the Discovery Channel's hit show, "Dirty Jobs."
Rowe will kick off the partnership by stamping his non-stop, jack-of-all-trades work ethic on a new series of Ford F-150 "Challenge" ads that match the truck's best-in-class towing and payload capabilities against all top competitors. They debut on network and cable television this weekend.
Rowe revels in performing the most grueling jobs with the experts that perform the tasks daily. His dirty jobs have included underwater lumberjacking, road kill removal, bat cave cleaning and catfish noodling, or bare-handed fishing – the only job he seriously considered turning down. Currently in its third season, "Dirty Jobs" is one of Discovery's top-rated programs and has highlighted more than 150 different jobs.
"Ford F-Series trucks are working America's toughest job sites every day," says Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Division Marketing. "Mike Rowe personifies 'Built Ford Tough' and showcases how millions of hard-working F-Series truck owners have helped build the country's backbone."
Ford and Rowe will get even dirtier with plans to take on more tough jobs directly with consumers as the partnership quickly expands. The team will continue to celebrate America's hard-working underpinnings by showcasing the toughness and dependability of the country's hardest workers. Ford trucks already co-star in many "Dirty Jobs" shows because of F-Series' work site legacy.
"'Dirty Jobs' celebrates the people who do the kind of jobs that make civilized life possible for the rest of us. It's no coincidence that those people rely on Ford trucks to get the job done. I see it over and over again" says Rowe.
"I've wrenched my back hauling garbage, smashed my finger with a hammer, smashed my toe with a sledgehammer, cut my arm open on a rusty nail, burned my eyelashes off in a blacksmith's furnace, and became dehydrated twice. I appreciate the importance of tough in people, tools and trucks."
Rowe built his "Dirty Jobs" resume by traveling the world to swim with sharks, uncover the mysteries of mummies and even take on what's considered the world's most dangerous job – Alaskan crab fishing – on Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch." He ultimately landed the new job by submitting to Discovery Channel producers a tape of his wildly popular feature stories from his "Somebody's Gotta Do It" segment on the local San Francisco CBS station's "Evening Magazine" program.
Ford F-150 Ads Featuring Rowe Debut March 1
Rowe's first job as the newest "Built Ford Tough" spokesperson is to highlight the Ford F-150's towing and payload capabilities in two new spots titled "Boxed" and "Leaf Springs." In "Boxed," Rowe is at a campground. While the Ford F-150 easily tows an 11,000 pound trailer, it takes two trucks from the competition to pull the same load.
In the second spot, "Leaf Spring," Rowe is at a landscape site helping a crew load massive amounts of landscaping material into the bed of the F-150. The new commercials begin airing on this weekend nationally. Rowe also will appear in print and digital ads.
Ford Truck "Dream Team"
Rowe joins Ford's dream team of truck spokespeople and marketing alliances that creatively incorporate F-Series trucks to reach millions of consumers, including a large percentage of truck buyers, each weekend. Research shows that full-size pickup truck core customers are highly engaged in several specific lifestyles, including sports, country music, outdoors activities and do-it-yourself projects.
"Mike Rowe is a perfect fit for Ford trucks because he already goes to work with many F-Series owners on 'Dirty Jobs'," says Engle. "All Ford truck marketing efforts draw from the 'Built Ford Tough' DNA that is designed into all F-Series pickups, tested in the most rigorous conditions and proven in the real world day after day."
Ford's all-star roster of F-Series marketing alliances and spokespeople includes:
American Quarter Horse Association:
Ford partners with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) to stay connected with trends in the equestrian community and among avid horseback riders across the nation. Ford F-Series marks the fifth consecutive year as the 'Official Truck' of the AQHA in 2007. Ford's relationship with AQHA also allows Ford to support youth equestrians through a $20,000 contribution to the AQHA Scholarship Fund and a co-sponsorship of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship.
Ford reaches members of AQHA through several targeted media, including America's Quarter Horse Magazine, the American Quarter Horse Journal and American Quarter Horse Racing. Ford also enjoys a presence on the TV Guide Channel with the program "America's Horse." In addition, Ford has a major presence at the four premier AQHA events each year and also co-sponsors the annual AQHA World Championship.
Ford is the official truck of Cabela's, the world's largest retail, mail order and internet outfitter of outdoor gear. Through this partnership, Ford stays connected with active outdoor enthusiasts. Ford trucks are prominently placed at in-store displays at nine Cabela's stores nationwide and in exterior displays at an additional five stores.
Ford F-Series trucks also are found in Cabela's popular mail order catalog, Cabela's advertisements and the Cabela's Outfitter Journal magazine. The Outdoor Channel also hosts the "Cabela's Outfitter Journal" television program featuring Ford trucks. For those who access Cabela's through the internet, Ford is also prominently displayed on the Cabela's homepage, a site which enjoys nearly 50 million hits annually.
FFA (formerly Future Farmers of America):
Ford partners with the National FFA by engaging and supporting students to develop the future leaders in agribusiness. This national youth and education organization has nearly 500,000 student members across the country. This energetic group of next-generation agricultural leaders could be the first group to fuel widespread availability of ethanol – the energy that powers the 250,000 flex-fuel vehicles, including the 2007 Ford F-150, that Ford will put on the road this year.
The support granted by Ford helps FFA to encourage students to develop leadership skills, personal growth and career opportunities. These students participate in hands-on business and real-world experiences to put their classroom knowledge to work. Ford is FFA's largest sponsor and longest automotive supporter with a 57-year legacy.
In 2006, Ford announced the creation of a $1 million college scholarship fund to support FFA students. Ford dealers also participate in the relationship with FFA, supporting local chapters and partnering with Ford to offer local, co-funded scholarships. Ford also sponsors a vehicle lease giveaway to the FFA chapter with the highest scoring scholarships. Ford also provides advertorial support and editorial content to FFA's publication, New Horizons magazine.
Ford started building F-Series Harley-Davidson™ pickups in 1999 and has since produced nine models accounting for nearly 50,000 sales. The successful collaboration between these two icons of the open road has produced six F-150 models, as well as Super Duty F-250 and F-350 offerings.
Ford also sponsors Harley-Davidson motorcycle racing through the American Motorcycle Association's oval dirt-track racing series, widely regarded as one of the toughest motorcycling enthusiast events. The companies' alliance has produced other products such as co-branded clothing and vehicle accessories.
The Home Depot:
Ford partners with the Home Depot to reach core truck owners who are contractors and do-it-yourself experts. Ford is expanding the partnership in 2007 by becoming "the official truck" of Home Depot. Ford also will continue to host "Ford Truck Contractor Days" events at nearly 100 Home Depot stores across the country in 2007 to showcase new F-Series commercial and retail pickups.
One of Ford's most long-standing truck partnerships is with the United States Hot Rod Association's Monster Jam monster truck racing series. Ford is Monster Jam's co-presenting sponsor after kicking off the alliance nearly a decade ago around the introduction of the popular monster truck, "Blue Thunder."
The souped-up Ford F-350 known as "Blue Thunder" is a crowd favorite, even earning the honor of a cast model toy produced and distributed by the Mattel toy company. The Monster Jam monster truck races and freestyle competitions reach more than three million stadium spectators each year and also are broadcast on SPEED.
Ford continues to sponsor the Built Ford Tough Blue Thunder team and also gives fans the chance to ride in "street legal" Blue Thunder-themed F-Series Super Duty trucks at Monster Jam events.
Once again for 2007, Ford and Monster will sponsor the "Monsters on Mainstreet" promotion, giving contestants the chance to win a monster truck race in their home community. Five finalists will be randomly selected from entrants registered at www.MonstersOnMainstreet.com to win an all-expense paid trip for four to attend the Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas March 23-24, 2007.
Of the five finalists, one will walk away with the grand prize: the opportunity to host a private Monster Jam event in their hometown. Each finalist will be presented a key at the Monster Jam World Finals, which may or may not be the key that starts a new 2008 F-Series Super Duty truck. The key that starts the Super Duty will determine the Grand Prize winner.
The Professional Bull Riders: The Professional Bull Riders (PBR) is called the "toughest sport on dirt," making it a perfect fit for the toughness that F-Series trucks exhibit on a daily basis. PBR is also the fastest growing sport in America, according to Fox News and Sports Illustrated. PBR experienced more than 50 percent growth in two short years from 2002 to 2004. Ford allied with PBR in 2001 as a presenting sponsor and became the title sponsor of the Built Ford Tough (BFT) Series in 2003.
The BFT Series is a 32-event tour that reaches an estimated 100 million viewers through television coverage on NBC and Outdoor Life Network (OLN) and another one million event attendees. There are over 50,000 Team PBR members, individuals who are engaged fans, active in PBR events and receiving PBR materials. More than 40 percent of event attendees are current Ford owners while half are full-size pickup truck owners.
Ford sponsors the BFT 'Toughest Seats on Dirt" promotion at live events, giving winners the best seats in the house closest to the action. Ford also teams with PBR again in 2007 on the 'Battle for the Bull' sweepstakes, giving fans a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to the PBR World Finals held in Las Vegas each fall, PBR VIP insider rights and the partial ownership of 'Super Duty', the bull, for the next PBR season.
Ford Racing continues to be a major force in each of NASCAR's top series – the Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck – while Ford trucks are promoted heavily at each to tap into the large pickup audience that follows the sport.
Ford research demonstrates this loyalty among the growing NASCAR fan base of 75 million people worldwide. Two thirds of Ford Truck owners are racing fans with 60 percent of these owners specifically following NASCAR racing. In general, 72 percent of NASCAR fans are loyal to products they see associated with the race series and their favorite drivers.
Ford will again co-promote with NASCAR and Nextel the third year of the Built Ford Tough "Race to the Dream Ultimate Fan Experience" promotion. The promotion breaks the typical luck-of-the-draw sweepstakes mold by challenging finalists to race each other against the clock at Homestead-Miami Speedway just prior to the Ford-sponsored season finales for each of the top series at the track.
Ford's partnership with entertainment superstar Toby Keith continues to build on integration into the shows through appearances in songs, music videos, Ford truck ads, concert videos and Hollywood movies.
Sixty percent of full-size pickup truck customers are country music fans. Many identify strongly with the self-proclaimed Ford Truck Man, Keith, who is a third-generation Ford truck owner following in his dad and grandpa's footsteps.
Ford continues to sponsors Keith's wildly successful concerts, including the 2003 "Shock N'Y'All Tour" as well as the "Big Throwdown Tours" in 2004 and 2005 and the most recent 2006 "Hookin' Up and Hangin' Out Tour." Ford's sponsorship includes dramatic pre-concert truck videos, unique concert product integrations and a co-starring role in Keith's first feature film, Broken Bridges¸ co-starring Burt Reynolds and Kelly Preston in 2006.
Ford began its relationship with Keith in August 2002 with the "Ford Truck Man" national advertising campaign. Keith continues to appear in the company's F-Series advertising, such as in a series of humorous commercials that ran in 2006. The spots helped 'educate' naysayers on 'The Truth About Trucks' by pointing out Ford's class-leading advantages over the competition. Keith has scored three popular songs, including "Ford Truck Man," in support of those advertisements.
Ford F-Series trucks recently marked 30 years as the best selling truck in America and 24 (5?) years as the best selling vehicle in America. 2007 also marks the introduction of the new 2008 F-Series Super Duty with Ford's newest, most capable truck arriving at dealerships now.