hanks: built ford tough?

After spending four years on that desert island, Tom Hanks thinks he can teach Ford a thing or two about toughness.

“I could kick the butts of all those guys driving their trucks,” he joked to Entertainment Weekly when asked about the new Ford ad mentioning tough guys’ aversion to movies like You’ve Got Mail. “Come by me, man, and I’ll tear you apart.”

Ford marketing chief Lew Echlin was unimpressed. “I have two words for Tom: Bosom Buddies,” he told EW, referring to the ’80s sitcom in which Hanks dressed as a woman. “Not exactly the essence of toughness.” (A witty reference, but Echlin should be careful: Hanks’ Bosom Buddies character did work in advertising.)

Jon Parkinson of J. Walter Thompson says Warner Bros., which made You’ve Got Mail, thought it was a great joke. “They let us use it for nothing,” he says. (He had to shell out for the Fight Club and A-Team references in other ads.)

Parkinson actually wanted to use the phrase “a Julia Roberts movie,” but Roberts nixed it. But he was happy with the results. “We weren’t really having a go at Hanks,” he says. “We just wanted to say this is a chick flick, and this guy in the ad would never in a million years go and see it.”