Dailey Signs Shields for SoCal Ford Dealers

LOS ANGELES Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates has named actress-model-businesswoman-mom Brooke Shields as spokesperson for the Southern California Ford Dealer Association, the agency said. Her first appearance will be in three new-product television spots, set to launch in early November.

“So much car advertising is about the deal. We needed something new, somebody to represent the ‘next generation’ of Ford products,” said Cliff Einstein, Dailey chairman and CEO. The West Hollywood, Calif.-based shop previously created the association’s successful, 13-year branding campaign featuring actress Lindsay Wagner.

Ford will introduce three vehicles within the next month: a Mustang, the 500 midsize sedan and the Freestyle station wagon-SUV hybrid, Einstein said. The quality of both merchandise and marketing are expected to “bring in consumers who have not been going to Ford dealers in many years,” he said.

“Brooke is the perfect expression of a wide range of products,” explained Einstein. “She’s been an icon in the public consciousness for many years, [she’s] many things for many people,” he said. “An icon, as is the Ford brand. An expression of American industry.”

With so many facets to her life, he said, instead of playing parts in the 30-second commercials, Shields will merely play herself. “The spots were written with her, not just for her,” Einstein said. “No acting, no roles—she’s just telling how these products relate to her life.”

Although he did not reveal details, Einstein said that Shields had accepted a multi-year, multimedia contract. In regard to the regional association’s growing ad spend, Einstein said, “It’s a bigger budget because the budget gets bigger every year. It’s big enough.”

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Ford Dealer Associations of Los Angeles and San Diego Counties collectively spent $90 million on advertising in 2003; between January and July of this year, the spend reached $42 million. Detroit-headquartered Ford Motor Co., working with agencies including lead WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, had a 2003 total ad budget of $1.32 billion, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.