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Keith Plays Pickup for Ford Trucks

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DETROIT A spot for Ford Motor Co.'s truck lineup breaks today featuring country singer and familiar client pitchman Toby Keith singing a new song he wrote specifically for Ford.

The 30-second spot, from WPP Group's J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, includes the entire Ford Division pickup truck lineup, and serves as a teaser spot for the new F-150, which goes on sale Sept. 4.

It features Keith along with Ford Ranger, F-Series Super Duty and the new 2004 F-150. The ad shows Keith and the various trials that Ford trucks endure at the automaker's test track before they go on sale to the public. It continues the new Ford division tagline: "If you haven't looked at Ford lately, look again" along with the long-standing truck credo: "Built Ford tough."

Keith's song includes lyrics such as "Look again, look again, Ford trucks your old American friend." Ford began using Keith in ads a year ago.

Lew Echlin, Ford truck marketing communications manager said the ad sets the table for the fall launch of F-150, though he wouldn't say whether Keith will be used in F-150 ads. "We are involved in a multi-year campaign with him."

The client spent about $35 million last year to advertise its Ford division pickup trucks, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

During his current concert tour, Keith drives an F-150 on stage. The truck then morphs into part of the stage. Echlin said the truck will be on stage for 37 dates, through October. "Toby has been a great marketing partner," Echlin said. "What he provides is genuine high visibility, and he's genuine, a third-generation Ford truck owner."