Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - Ford

Magazine article Marketing

50 Years of Fame: Brandfame - Ford

Article excerpt

The UK's biggest car brand has consistently used TV advertising to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Ford has the distinction of being the first marque to run a UK TV ad, featuring in ITV's first ad break 50 years ago, although the spot focused on the company's operations in Dagenham, Essex, rather than any specific model.

The marketing department was so quick off the mark that Ford UK's then-chairman, Sir Patrick Hennessey, wasn't able to watch the ad because he did not yet have a TV set.

The company's initial commitment to TV has continued with models such as the Granada, Galaxy and flagship Focus - launched in 1998 - all being backed by extensive TV activity.

When Ford belatedly entered the burgeoning small car category with the Fiesta in 1975, it turned to ITV, opting to use the then-uncommon 60-second ad format to drive home the model's technical advancements.

The Fiesta gained fame quickly. Spontaneous awareness of the model hit 87% nearly four weeks after its launch, and prompted awareness was universal among new car owners - an unprecedented feat in the UK at the time.

The Fiesta grabbed a 5.6% share of the total market, selling more cars than its four leading rivals combined. …

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