Ford, JWT Focus on Fashion

J. Walter Thompson has teamed with the Integrated Marketing Group of Hachette Filipacchi to design a fashion-oriented campaign for the Ford Focus.

As part of the “Fashion in Focus” campaign, 10 young designers deemed up-and-comers were asked to create clothing designs and accessories using Ford Focus car parts.

“We challenged JWT to create integrated programs that go well beyond just placing ads in magazines,” said Bob Fesmire, Ford Focus marketing manager. “This [campaign] connects with our target customers in a much more relevant and authentic way.”

The campaign begins with a three-page print “advertorial” in the January issues of Elle and Premiere. The ad introduces the designers and the program and invites readers to log on to A second advertorial in February issues gives more information about the program. It will be followed by a 12-page “Fashion in Focus” spread in March issues showcasing the fashions the designers have created.

The designs will also be shown at a New York fashion show and party Feb. 11, which will be featured on a live webcast. The de-signs will be pa-raded on a lucite runway with Ford Focus vehicles underneath it. Consumers who view the show on the Web will be invited to vote for their favorite design and enter a sweepstakes to win a shopping spree in New York. Ten of the fashion designs will be auctioned the night of the show with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

The campaign also includes a block-long billboard on Broadway in New York’s Times Square. Street marketing promoting the fashion show will be executed in Manhattan two weeks prior to the event.

The 10 designers began the endeavor with a tour of Ford’s Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan where the Focus is produced. There, they selected a variety of Focus parts, including gear shift knobs, ignition wires, air bags, seat fabric and head lights.

Tracy Feith, one of the designers, said he has always been intrigued by auto design. “And the Focus has a certain line and movement,” said Feith.

Ford spent $43 million advertising the Focus in 1999 and $54 million through the first seven months of 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting.