Ford Focuses on Stylish Youth

JWT Campaign Backs New Model Meant to Complement Escort
DETROIT–Ford Motor Co. and J. Walter Thompson here are readying an extensive two-year advertising push behind the Ford Focus set to break in August under the tagline, “Live it. Live,” the company and sources said.
Teaser print ads will appear in August publications with TV spots set to break Sept. 9 during the MTV Music Awards, sources said.
The automaker is expected to spend close to $100 million on advertising during the first 12 months of the car’s launch. Ford spent $76 million on measured media advertising in 1996 relaunching the Ford Escort brand, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Interactive advertising will play a prominent role in the launch, said Julie Roehm, Focus brand manager. A Web site for the vehicle will launch in August, she said. The brand will also have space on Ford’s main site, which currently features a preview at, including a video tour and slideshow.
A teaser postcard campaign from JWT also is under way, with 27 million cards distributed nationwide on college campuses, in music stores, movie theaters and restaurants through postcard display company Hotstamps, New York, said Mike Sclabassi, Focus account supervisor at the agency.
Designed in Germany, the Focus was originally slated to replace the Escort; it will now be sold along with the Escort, but targeting a more style-conscious demographic, Roehm said.
The purple and orange postcard features a silhouette of the Focus with the tagline: “What’s your focus?” A teaser is important when targeting a youthful audience, Roehm said.
“The strategy is to generate a word-of-mouth connection and get people intrigued,” she said.