By on July 29, 2009

Unlike the Subaru Outback, which doesn’t do anything for Legacy wagon fans, today’s TTAC podcast really does have something for everyone. And coincidentally, the ability to be all things to all people also happens to be the major challenge for mass market brands. Which is why Messrs. Farago and Niedermeyer agree that Ford should embrace its “built Ford tough” tagline, and use it to build the Ford brand across every segment. The line is well-established, it is associated with one of Ford’s most successful products, and, most importantly, it conveys a powerful but versatile brand image. In the past, we’ve wondered aloud about what exactly a Ford is supposed to be. Built Ford Tough could apply to a cheap Fiesta as much as it could to an upmarket Taurus. It’s an all-encompassing value that anyone, if not everyone, can relate to.

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12 Comments on “Daily Podcast: Something For Everyone...”

  • avatar

    Sure beats “Drive One”. Kind of takes the Subaru image mainstream. Suby’s aren’t selling too bad so maybe a good long term strategy.

  • avatar

    I’m in favor, particularly if Ford really means it and really does build ’em tough. Its pickups have always qualified, along with certain other models like the Panther cars. However, some of their other efforts have been a bit, er, brittle (I’m thinking of the Windstar and the V6 engines with all the head gasket problems.) If Ford gets serious and makes a 200K car its benchmark from the top of the line to the bottom, this boosts reputation and resale, and will contrast with the recent products of its crosstown rivals.

  • avatar

    “Drive One” is the external off-shoot of the internal “One Ford” mantra preached by Mr. M.

    I agree that BFT has the street cred upon which the brand could recover. Ford could then layer quality, efficiency, durability, resale, customer-satisfaction (each of these being fundimental to a sustainable business) messages upon the BFT foundation.

    And Ford better be quick about it, because Toyota is working in the opposite direction starting with all the layers described above, and working in the direction of tough.

    TMC may have failed to deeply penetrate Toughland on its first two tries, but it is making inroads, and if they take enough territory there before FMC can annex some of TMC-township adjoining Toughland, Ford will continue to sputter.

    Why not take-offs like in the old Q-1 adverts… first ideas:

    – Ford Built Lovable (Fiesta)
    – Ford Built Efficient (Focus)
    – Ford Built Cool (Mustang)
    – Ford Built Sexy (Fusion)
    – Ford Built Roomy (base Taurus)
    – Ford Built Hot (SHO)
    – Ford Built Hip (Flex)
    – Ford Built Tiny Tough (Ranger)
    – Ford Built Original Tough (F-Series)
    – Ford Built Efficient (Econoline /Transit)
    – Ford Built Perfect / Safe (full pallette)
    – Ford Built Technology (Eco-Boost, 6-spd Trans, AWD)
    – Ford Built Green (Hybrids)

    each commercial could then end, “Some items are optional, but of course, both Quality and Ford Built Tough come standard!”

  • avatar

    Tough implies that it will stand the test of time. Ford started re-focusing on quality when they dumped Nasser. That work apparently started paying off from about the 2005 Ford Five Hundred onwards. We’ll know if that was the case in 2015.

    Only then could you possibly risk the strong, established ‘Built Ford Tough’ brand by stretching it across the entire product line.

  • avatar

    “Built Ford Tough” is just a lot of Madison Ave. wanking when I think of my family’s experience with Escort wagons and more recently the stacks of recall notices that flooded the mailboxes of friends with Contours and Foci. This is back when “Quality is Job 1”, remember that?

    Build a car well enough that the owners are happy to tell others about how reliable it is, then when I hear the same quality touted in an ad it doesn’t sound like you’re just blowing smoke.

    As it is now, when I hear “Ford Tough” all it conjures up are the brawny plastic fender flares on an Explorer Sport-Trac. Butch!

  • avatar

    Um, how would this “advice” be any different that telling GM to do the same thing with it’s Chevy truck campaign “Like A Rock”? Everything that you said about “Ford Tough” could be applied to Chevy’s “Like A Rock”.

    The big downside would be having to listen to Bob Seger’s anthem a bazillion times over for another 5 years or so.


  • avatar

    “Built Ford Tough” seems to be a more appropriate tag-line for trucks than cars to me. But, I’m not marketing spin guru. Build quality cars and the tag line won’t matter. Build crap and the tag line won’t help.

  • avatar

    It’s better than nothing. Not much, but some.

  • avatar

    That tagline would work in North America but not Europe.
    Why don’t Ford ‘big up’ the new Fiesta some more? I mean the eco-diesel version currently gives better mpg than any poxy hybrid out there – and it drives better too! And yet all Ford have to say in their pre-introduction hype on the TV is
    “Fiesta – It’s exciting!”
    Like wow.

  • avatar

    Good luck to Ford on their new “hey, let’s price cars much higher since we’re near an economic depression” campaign.

    The Taurus should be a real humdinger unless Ford piles on the incentive cash – at $35,000 for a loaded 6 cylinder, with an interior that’s smaller than an Accord or Mazda6, and with middling fuel economy to boot…

    …I’ve heard you can actually option a non-SHO 2010 Taurus up to the $38k+.

    It’s just…insane.

    Hey everyone –

    Drive one:

  • avatar
    Stein X Leikanger

    I was going to write something pithy, and then I started thinking of something else, I guess.
    Used the “random website” function and this came up:

    Sheesh, life could be worse.

    Built tough? Hmmm. Why not? As long as they live up to it. Though in the future we’ll be looking for smarter cars. Built tough points to a time when we saw ourselves fording streams (couldn’t resist) on our way to the fall hunt. (Just a couple more weeks now, am getting jittery.)

    Built FORD Tough. Had a friend with a new Explorer that used to break down in mid-forest. Have to avoid that, of course. Otherwise, sure, go for it.

    (Pssst to Lutz and others – it’s not the advertising, it’s the product. Fix the product.)

  • avatar

    Not wanting to sound like some marketing fool, the “BUILT FORD TOUGH” has a few problems :

    The word “built” is a poor choice. People like to think of their cars as “created” or “designed” but not BUILT which sounds too industrial.
    The word “tough” works if you are selling trucks or vans but it is way too agricultural for urban consumers. People associate TOUGH with terms like : Basic, heavy, low tech, unrefined, cheap, butch…

    I can’t believe anyone would seriously consider this slogan for an entire car brand!! I thought TTAC was more astute than that.

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