Ford Mustang Poses on UPN’s ‘Top Model’

NEW YORK In a bid to attract women and African American consumers, Ford Motor is putting its 2005 Mustang GT in UPN’s America’s Next Top Model this week.

The effort puts the car in a segment of the show as a prop during a photo shoot. The winner of the show gets a shot at a management contract with Ford Models (no relation to Ford Motor) and a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl.

The tie-in also includes an online sweepstakes on where viewers can put their names in a virtual hat for the 2005 Ford Mustang GT. The sweepstakes runs until Dec. 12.

Ford, which is rolling out several vehicles this quarter, and vowed to earmark 20 percent of its marketing budget for non-traditional media, will put the new 2005 Freestyle, Five Hundred and Super Duty truck on Fox’s The OC and shows like Alias and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Also, next year, Ford is back for the fourth time as sponsor of Fox’s American Idol.

America’s Next Top Model is UPN’s highest rated program in the network’s history among women 18-49, and this season the show is one of the top 10 programs for African American adults 18-49.

In a statement, Ford says about 40 percent of Mustang buyers are women and the car is holds a “strong position” among urban Hispanic and African American buyers.