St. John Keeps Ford Dealers on Air

ATLANTA St. John & Partners launched the first six of a planned 20 television ads for five regional Ford dealer groups today, the shop said.

The ads feature Rick Titus, a former racecar driver and automotive journalist, as spokesman. Titus, who hosts a syndicated radio show about cars, translates technical data about Ford cars and trucks into understandable terms. “What’s this mean to you?” is the campaign tagline.

The independent Jacksonville, Fla., shop created all 20 spots, which can be altered to include information about specific offers in each of the five regions. The campaign also includes radio spots, in-store displays, personal appearances by celebrities, video-on-demand segments and a Web site.

In one television ad, Titus points out a Ford truck’s trailer brake controller. He explains that the controller synchronizes the truck and trailer brakes. Then, he asks, “What’s this mean to you?” He answers, “Seamless braking, even with the heaviest loads. Sort of makes me wonder why Chevy HD doesn’t offer it.”

“By using Rick to translate complex engineering details into plainspoken, real-world benefits, we can create a compelling case for why Ford products should be on the list when consumers are shopping for a car, truck or SUV,” said Don Fibich, creative director at the shop.

St. John also arranged for the five Ford dealer groups to be a sponsor of Titus’ weekly radio show, Drivers Talk Radio.

Southern Ford Dealers in Florida, Georgia and Alabama; Southern Quality Ford Dealers in Louisiana and Mississippi; Neighborhood Ford Stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland; Neighborhood Michigan Ford Dealers; and Metro Toledo Ford Dealers will use the ads.

Spending was not disclosed. The shop said it produces 300 television ads for the clients annually.