Ford ads created for brand loyalists drive awareness, purchase intent, study says
- Thirty-six percent of U.S. adults recalled seeing a Ford ad over the past two weeks, as of Oct. 1, according to a YouGov analysis. By Oct. 20, following the launch of the automaker’s new campaign “Built Ford Proud,” ad awareness had jumped to 39%.
- In Word of Mouth, 16% of consumers said they had discussed Ford with friends or family over the past two weeks as of Oct. 1. The number jumped to 20% by Oct. 20, when 31% also said they would consider purchasing a Ford when next in the market for a vehicle, up from 29% at the beginning of the month.
- Other findings revealed that 83% of current and former Ford customers prefer buying American brands, compared to 75% for all U.S. adults.
Ford’s new ad campaign, which debuted earlier this month, seems to be resonating with consumers, as ad awareness, word of mouth and purchase intent rose throughout October. “Built Ford Proud” highlights Ford’s legacy models and push into advanced automotive technology and smart vehicles. The spots star actor Bryan Cranston and tout the brand’s history. The YouTube video of the spot racked up 5.4 million views in just a few days, according to YouGov.
The finding that more Ford customers prefer buying American brands aligns with Ford’s marketing strategy. The new campaign is part of Ford’s efforts to retain loyal customers, rather than striving to convert new ones, according to Automotive News. The company based the strategy on data showing that loyal are easier to retain than new consumers are to attract, and Ford has a loyal base with 13.5 million trucks owned in the U.S. With the new campaign, Ford is also using “Built Ford Proud” to tout its new rewards program on the FordPass app and its plans for engaging with consumers over the next few years.
Solidifying its relationship with loyal customers is a solid approach for Ford. Auto brands have struggled to connect with millennials and Gen Zers, who are buying fewer cars, preferring ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber.
The new campaign comes as Ford is revamping its marketing framework and working to cut costs. The automaker nearly doubled its cost-cutting goal to $25.5 billion in April from $14 billion announced last year, with about half of the projected cuts in sales and marketing, including in reduced advertising.
Ford recently selected BBDO as its new lead creative agency following a global review and Wieden+Kennedy as an “innovation partner” for specific projects. Ford also introduced a new agency model that will add more than 100 new in-house marketing positions across brand design, digital labs and media tools and partnerships. The company said its new marketing approach will save $150 million annually and allow it to focus more on emerging ad tools and technology to offer more personalization.