top of page

Work of the Week- Built Ford Proud

It seems as though Ford is branching out from it’s normal marketing tactics with this fresh ad. Normally their commercials are of the “look at this big ol’ truck, look at all the mud it can get through, men like this truck” variety. With this advertisement featuring the world’s most badass dad, Bryan Cranston, they’re taking a little bit of a departure from their old ways. As always, there’s still a large focus on American pride, and getting your hands a little dirty (there’s gotta be some kind of dirt in there). However, instead of merely focusing on the benefits of their latest model of vehicle, they’re discussing the benefit of their brand, and how hard work differentiates them from the rest.

Ford’s insight behind this spot is a rather nuanced one. They’ve realized we live in a post iPhone world, where innovation is directly correlated with white men doing keynote speeches in front of large groups of people. We see the ideation of ideas as the actual cusp of innovation. Americans no longer perceive working to physically build something as a vital skill to succeed in the workforce, where in the beginning of Ford’s history was the only thing to do. Ford wanted to bring forward this idea that the true inventors and innovators aren’t those with cool glasses and business casual attire, it’s the ones behind the scenes, working and creating new things every day.

Interestingly enough, this insight seems to be targeting Ford’s existing market, but in a new light. Generally the “tough men like this truck” advertisements are geared to working men that need to use their trucks to transport large amounts of equipment or product. It’s always been a working class vehicle, but was generally advertised on just a product benefit basis. With lots of car companies changing their marketing practices to be more social cause oriented, it’s likely they needed to shift their tactics slightly to try and saturate their normal audience even further. Working class men in the middle or the south of our country tend to fall of the conservative political scale, and this is exactly the rhetoric that was used to help win the election

This country used to have tons of manufacturing jobs, that Ford used to employ a lot of. They're suggesting we get taken back to that time when Americans were actually building things. And changed their classic "Built Ford Tough" to "Built Ford Proud"

What’s really interesting about this advertisement, is that their intended audience isn’t the only group of people it can resonate with. As a marketing student in 2018, I live in a world full of Ted Talks, and white men telling me I need to differentiate my products and think outside the box. This ad was able to nail on the head the current conventions of what innovation is currently depicted as in this country. Which is what caught my eye and made me want to continue watching.

bottom of page