Ford Readies Push for F-150

NEW YORK Ford on Friday will bow an estimated $100 million campaign to support the 2004 F-150 pickup truck with the theme, “This is the only truck that has earned the right to be the next F-150.”

Creative from WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson in Detroit touts the truck’s power train, frame strength and quiet interior. A patriotic 60-second launch spot features the voiceover, “A truck like this isn’t built in a factory. It’s built in the farms and the fields, on concrete streets and crowded construction sites that map the landscape of an entire country.” Ads retain the overall brand tag, “If you haven’t looked at Ford lately, look again.”

Teaser ads break tomorrow, leading up to a Sept. 4 launch timed to coincide with the start of the NFL season.

Three 30-second spots shot at Ford’s Arizona proving grounds tout low-end torque for hauling. There will also be a multicultural campaign, via Zubi in Coral Gables, Fla., and an African American effort, via Uniworld in New York, featuring the music of Muddy Waters.

Rich Stoddard, marketing communications manager, said the September launch will be aggressive. “Starting Sept. 4, on ESPN’s Thursday night kickoff game, you will see us in every single football game,” he said. “In that one weekend we’ll reach 50 percent of the truck audience; you won’t be able to miss us.”