Ford is starting up two new advertising campaigns in different markets, but they share one thing in common - using less petroleum-based fuels. The campaigns are an American push for the new 2008 Mercury Mariner (above) that touts improved fuel economy and a wider promotion in Europe for Ford's flexifuel range that uses images of animal fetuses.

The Mariner, which is available as a hybrid, gets between 17/22 and 34/30 city/highway miles per gallon, depending on specifications. Those low numbers aren't great, but that's what you get when you're dealing with a 4WD V-6.

Over in Europe - starting in Sweden - Ford is using "powerful imagery" of computer-generated animal babies - the popular dolphin, elephant and polar bear - in the womb to say that Ford's ethanol-capable flexifuel vehicles are "for the next generation." I'd think that cute real baby animals, big eyes and everything, would be powerful imagery enough, but if Ford wants to move the camera inside, then I guess that's their prerogative. I haven't seen images from this campaign, but Ford's media notice is after the jump.

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[Source: Ford]
FORD LAUNCHES FLEXIFUEL ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN "FOR THE NEXT GENERATION"

Ford FFVs are an important next step for sustainable mobility

Cologne, March 28, 2007 – Ford of Europe is launching a new advertising campaign for its bio-ethanol powered vehicles. The imaginative campaign visualises animal babies still in the womb, and proposes Ford FFVs 'for the next generation'.

"We know climate change is real, and we're committed to doing something about it by bringing a range of sustainable, low CO2 technologies to our customers over the next few years," said Stephen Odell, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford of Europe. "Our new campaign uses powerful imagery and is aimed at educating car buyers about the benefits of bio-fuel technology, as well as strengthening Ford's position as a leader among European volume manufacturers for FFVs," he added.

The campaign kicks off this month in Sweden, Europe's most advanced flexifuel market, and includes a striking television ad plus print ads, as well as a dedicated internet site. From Sweden, the campaign is planned to roll out across other European markets where Ford Focus and C-MAX flexifuel models are sold.

Commitment for Future Generations
Ford's new Flexifuel campaign stresses the company's commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable mobility, and it's relevance for future generations. The campaign uses images of the next generation of ecologically sensitive animals all on the verge of birth, though no real animals were used in its creation.

The powerful images have been created using the latest, state-of-the-art model making and film techniques to provide a super-real portrayal of what would be seen if the camera were filming inside a dolphin, elephant or polar bear. Time and care has been taken to ensure that the images are anatomically and scientifically correct.

"We hope to highlight the need for all of us to make changes to our daily lives to preserve the planet for future generations of animals and humans alike," said Odell. "Ford's flexifuel technology is one such change that is easy to make."

"The environmental benefits and affordability of this technology and bio-ethanol mean that people can contribute immediately to lower CO2 for the benefit of future generations," Odell added. "On this occasion, while our customers might not feel the difference, the planet will."

Flexifuel Range
Ford is the market pioneer of flexifuel vehicles (FFVs) in Europe where it sold more than 28,500 Ford flexifuel units since market introduction in Sweden six years ago. The current FFV portfolio includes the Ford Focus and the new Ford C-MAX. In addition to this, Ford has recently announced to expand the availability of flexifuel technology to the new Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy from early 2008, resulting in one of the broadest FFV portfolios in the European market.

Like the Focus and C-MAX flexifuel vehicles, the new Ford Mondeo, Galaxy and S-MAX flexifuel models are designed to run on a high blend bio-ethanol in petrol (up
to 85% bio-ethanol, sold as E85), as well as on petrol only, or on any combination of both fuels, making them exceptionally flexible. Studies show – the latest one conducted on behalf of the Spanish Government – that the combined use of bio-ethanol and FFV technology can lead to a reduction of up to 80 per cent of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions (compared to petrol burned in conventional vehicle technology).

Ford's alternative fuel portfolio is complemented by additional availability of CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) versions of Focus, C-MAX and Transit - plus Transit LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) - in selected markets. Furthermore, a broad portfolio of new, environmentally advanced technologies is under development.

In addition to Ford's flexifuel models, a range of low-CO2 conventional vehicle technologies is available, including high tech clean diesel technologies with amongst-best-in-class CO2 performance (starting with the Ford Fiesta at 116 g CO2/km). Ford now offers 10 vehicles with sub-130gCO2/km powertrains, giving the company one of the broadest low-CO2 vehicle portfolios available in Europe today.

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