By on March 4, 2016

Ford of Denmark ad screenshot

Nothing says “Buy a Ford!” like unhappy kids and a failed marriage, apparently.

Ford Motor Company is making waves in advertising circles — and confusing everyone else — after creating a car commercial in the form of a 16-minute short film that centers around the breakup, and sort-of reunification of an average Danish family.

The three-part film/commercial, directed by Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen for Ford of Denmark, is titled “Familien” (Danish for “family”) and features the breakup of unhappy couple Anders and Molly, and the divided family’s struggles to cope with the split.

Amidst the turmoil, Anders and Molly have to deal with the gloomy rebellion of their young son Troells (he won’t get out of the car, the little punk!) and the sudden disappearance of their teenage daughter Fiona (spoiler: the movie doesn’t get that dark).

Oh, and there’s totally a Ford Fusion that shepherds the grim-faced clan around.

Anyone who’s seen been forced to sit through an Ingmar Bergman film will recognize all the hallmarks of Scandinavian cinema: bare tree branches standing starkly against a flat-grey sky, long and mournful gazes out of a rain-flecked window, and people so filled with pent-up emotions that they might burst.

The commercial is meant to draw from the fact that Denmark has a crazy divorce rate, proving that high taxes and great transit doesn’t cure all, progressives.

Denmark’s The Local has called the ad “the most depressing car commercial ever,” while Adweek praised Ford for tackling the risky subject matter, describing it as “beautifully made, if darker than almost all car ads you’re used to.”

“Ford’s demography really is the Danish middle class, who do have the highest divorce rate in the world, said the director to Adweek. “And so we pitched this film under the banner ‘Ford. Supporting families against the odds.'”

Oh, so there are different classes in Scandinavia, hmm? There goes another myth.

Now that Ford has tackled the subject of broken homes, it’s hard not to be curious about the next commercial to emerge from their Danish film vault, and whether it be R-Rated (or as they say in Denmark, all ages).

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29 Comments on “Ford Enters Its Arthouse Years...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    So in Denmark it’s called the Fusion and not Mondeo? Hmm.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Nothing says ‘Buy a Ford!’ like unhappy kids and a failed marriage, apparently.”

    Ford did a divorced family commercial for the Freestlye CUV in the past as well.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “The Ford Freestyle – our CVT shifts less often than your family’s dynamic.”

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      How about a commercial where the wife is stuck with the Auto tranny Fusion and hubby roars off in a GT350R with the silicon enhanced neighbour riding shotgun. Change that to F450 Limited in Texas and the fly over states.

      Might as well Americanize it.

      Has the makings of a great country western song.

  • avatar
    BlueEr03

    Still better than the Chevy Malibu commercial.

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      This. GM is on a really lame ad streak.

      Sad thing is, the only people who had a clue about advertising, FCA, just parted ways with their primary ad agency.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “See Your Metro-Area Ford Dealer!

    Think Ford First When You Think BDSM!”

  • avatar
    Joss

    What’s to like about Denmark? Low sperm count and coastal cottages that can only be bought by white danish born. They placed ads in Syria asking migrants not to come. One of europas more dreary and materialistic countries.

  • avatar
    TR4

    “the fact that Denmark has a crazy divorce rate”

    I call BS on this one. According to

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divorce_demography

    Denmark’s divorce rate is lower than U.S.A.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Besides this point, the article implies that divorces are necessarily bad. Judging from my circle of acquaintances, divorces make people happy. It’s not 1952 anymore, divorce is not a synonym for failure.

    • 0 avatar

      @TR4

      You beat me to it. Well done.

      @ Steph Willems: if you’re going to try to criticize progressive thinking, you better take a comprehensive look at life in the Scandinavian countries. As a group, they do a lot better than the US. We have the highest inequality among western nations, and this means, among much else, that a lot of very smart people who could do great things never get to use their brainpower for anything but the struggle to survive.

      PS @Steph Willems: But in general, I think you’re doing quite well with the news.

  • avatar
    Usul

    Time passes, your children move away, man tills the field and lies beneath: Ford Fusion.

  • avatar
    sproc

    If you’re that depressed after watching this, all the BMW “The Hire” short films with Clive Owen as The Driver are on YouTube. Awesome campaign.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    regarding the subtitle in the pic… coming inside was what lead to the whole mess.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Huh. Well there goes 16 minutes of my work day, in which I could have been doing anything else besides working.

    Off to the Ford Denmark website to configure a B-Max and Ranger.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ford needs to sponsor ‘Being John Malkovich, Part Deux’, through the eyes of John Malkovich & His Ford Escape.

  • avatar
    mcs

    Some of the best ads I’ve seen are from New England Subaru. Just the owner with other musicians playing music and flashing the New England Subaru logo towards the end of the ad.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I prefer one of the ads Ford aired a few years back, it featured one of their models in a demo derby, avoiding crashes thanks to various safety features.

    This…well if I were having to fix a Ford all day and plunge college money into it, at least the ads accurate for once.

  • avatar
    CheapOrBust

    61,500 views and only 42 people could figure out how they felt after watching it. 39 thumbs up 3 thumbs down.

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    Well, I can testify that a Focus is an adequate method of transporting your sullen female child from your ex’s house to yours. Wish I could get that wagon, though…

    And I’d love to see this ad air in the US, if only to hear the retarded media metldown that would surely ensue from the part where the kids are out in the car alone all night.

  • avatar
    northeaster

    Then there are those of us juvenile enough to find different lines entertaining, too.

    I still favor the Peter Stormare approach.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    I’m with adweek, this is nice. Sometimes the right thing isn’t all joy all the time, but you still want to do right. It’s not marketing as usual, but that’s kind of why it works. As far as the writers ideology, it’s clearly overcome his ability to do simple research, wrong on just about every “fact” used to support his political views. Not exactly convincing.

  • avatar
    jellybean

    I agree, it’s nice. I used to work in the ad business (until I came to detest it). The restraint is remarkable. It really makes you ‘feel’ something. It likely resonates with people from such circumstances of parents breaking up. My parents stayed together, but I do remember a time when I was the age of the young boy, the thought occurred to me, of my parents separating. It was a truly terrifying thing.


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