$100 Mil. Backs JWT’s Launch Of Ford Focus

Ford Motor Co. and J. Walter Thompson are readying an extensive two-year advertising push behind the the new Ford Focus to break in August under the tagline, “Live it. Live.”
Teaser print ads will appear in August publications with TV spots airing Sept. 9 during the MTV Music Awards broadcast.
The automaker is expected to spend close to $100 million on advertising during the first 12 months of the vehicle’s rollout. Ford spent $76 million on ads in 1996 introducing the Escort, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The Internet will play a key role in the debut of the car, said Julie Roehm, Focus brand manager. A Web site for the Focus will launch in August; the brand will have space on Ford’s site, she said. A hint of what the Focus Web site will look like is now available at www.fordvehicles.com/focus/index.html. It includes a video and picture tour.
A teaser postcard campaign from JWT also is under way, with 27 million cards distributed from racks on college campuses, music stores, movie theaters and restaurants, said Mike Sclabassi, Focus account supervisor at JWT.
Designed in Germany, the Focus was originally slated to replace the Escort model. A recent shift in plans calls for the Focus to be sold along with the Escort, but targeting a more style-conscious demographic, Roehm said.
The car will likely compete with such imports as the Honda Civic, while the Escort’s chief rival is General Motor’s Saturn line.