Have You Heard Ford's Tagline… Lately?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Ford's $25m Man continues his "back to basics" pogram program at Ford. The Detroit News reports that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is considering resurrecting The Blue Oval's old ad tagline "Have you driven a Ford lately?" (Uh, have you listened to a Ford TV ad lately? At least one uses the phrase as a musical background.) Further confusing the somewhat of a non-issue, Big Al says he will or won't do it depending or not depending on his marketing experts' opinion, to a greater or lesser extent: "I certainly am bringing it back — I don't know if I can convince my colleagues that that will be our main marketing campaign." Auto Pacific analyst Jim Hall agrees with Mulally's assessment that he's the wrong guy to make that decision: "He's being paid too much to be working on an advertising campaign." Alternatively, you could say Big Al's being paid too much NOT to be working on an advertising campaign.

Robert Farago
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  • Umterp85 Umterp85 on Aug 24, 2007

    Brendan---I share your hope that Ford can pull through. I like Mulally's managemnt style and his engineering background is already focusing Ford on the right things like quality and scorecarding every aspect of the business. In five years, I hope we can say he has successful transformed Ford into a smaller, nimbler, and more focused auto company that can be compared favorably with Honda. Time will tell if this vision is realistic---we know this much---it is going to take alot of work and luck to make it happen.

  • Matt Matt on Aug 24, 2007

    So he's asking us, have we driven a Focus that's based on an old platform, a Taurus that I wouldn't be caught dead in, or a number of SUV's or trucks? Why would I want to drive a ford lately? And I really hope that if Mullaly consolidates Ford of NA and Ford of Europe's designers, the whole "Kinetic Motion" or whatever it's called wins out over that stupid 3-bar grille thing we here in NA have to put up with.

  • RobertSD RobertSD on Aug 24, 2007

    It's not a bad tagline, and as the new and redesigned 2009 models start rolling out early next year, I think it will be very appropriate for Ford to relaunch that type of campaign. I think Ford has the Fusion, Flex, F-150, Escape (new engines), Transit, Milan, MKS and MKZ next year to go with the new Taurus and Focus this year. The new Focus's platform is much improved over the car it replaces. That's how Toyota works. When do you think the last time Toyota changed its Corolla platform was? Mulally's obsession with the Taurus is not because he is obsessed with the 1980s/90s Taurus per se. It is a name that still has positive connotations and brand recognition tied to it. As someone who is not a car enthusiast, he understands what name recognition does for a brand. Ford's vehicles are the Taurus, Mustang, Explorer and F-series. If you want to convince people that Ford makes a good family car - any good family car - you have a really good Taurus. And for all the criticism that the new Taurus gets (on this board at least), it is a nice car (if not particularly inspiring, but people buy Corollas hand over fist) and more than competitive in its class (not my class of shopping, but hey...). And for the amount he gets paid (and don't get me wrong, he's worth it if Ford turns around), I hope he is contributing to all sorts of ideas within the different company verticals.

  • Kansei Kansei on Aug 27, 2007

    RobertSD: The 'new' focus we get in 2007 is just a refresh on the same old chassis, just with a coupe model included for the first time. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, as that Focus chassis was very well-loved when it was new (compared endlessly to the 3rd gen Protege chassis), but it would be nice if Ford offered the class leading MK2 Focus in the states. When it was new, yeah there wasn't much of a market for such a thing here. Now that we have the A3, the C30.. come on Ford, it's time.