Safety the Focus of JWT’s New Ford Taurus Ads

DETROIT-The safety features on the redesigned Ford Taurus are highlighted in a national campaign from J. Walter Thompson that breaks New Year’s Day.
The ads will be completed later this month, when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to give the 2000 Taurus a five-star rating.
The ads from the Detroit agency will focus on how the Taurus reacts to consumers, their families and specific driving conditions. It includes one 60-second TV spot and two 30-second spots that will air nationally and in spot TV. National print launches in January issues of shelter, family, community and automotive titles.
“What if your car knew you?” asks actor John Corbett in a voiceover. “Anticipated your needs and then reacted to meet them? What if it knew how long your legs are? What if it could adapt its protection to you in an accident?” Visuals show the vehicle’s various features, including optional power-adjustable gas and brake pedals, optional side airbags, new dual-stage front airbags and an emergency inside trunk release.
The demographic for the Taurus is determined more by mind-set and values than economic or other data, said Rick Crossland, Taurus brand manager.
“Family relationships are very important to [the target buyers],” he said. “They are very rooted, very grounded people. The buyer is personal by nature, so the vehicle is personal by design.”
Ford spent about $80 million on advertising for the Taurus in 1998, and $40 million through the first eight months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.