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Ford launches first Focus Electric ad

Almost 4 years after the car’s market introduction (December 2011) and after selling some 5,500 units, Ford has launched its first Focus Electric ad.

The ad ties to a larger Ford campaign, “By Design”—the first dedicated campaign for Ford cars, analogous to the “Built Ford Tough” campaign for trucks.

Comments

Account Deleted

This BEV commercial is really thin by all means. A commercial for a BEV should explain about how BEVs have zero air pollution saving thousands of people from horrible diseases like asthma and cancer. It should mention how easy it is to fill the tank at home instead of spending time at public gas stations. It should mention the better handling and acceleration of BEVs and the better trunk space. It should mention the low and stable cost of electricity and the low insurance cost and low service cost. And it should mention how BEVs are good for national security and the economy.

Of cause neither of the old auto manufacturers can make a proper commercial for BEVs as they would directly take aim at their core business which is to make and sell highly polluting gassers and dirty diesels. This is the dilemma the old auto industry faces and why we are not going to see any solutions that matters from their side. It will exclusively come from Tesla, Apple and other IT giants that are about to enter the auto industry with self-driving BEV taxi services. It is all going to become a lot more interesting after 2020 when these new entrants starts to deliver such transportation services in volume and the commercials are going to blast the inconvenient truth about gassers and dirty diesels like we have never heard it before.

Aaron Turpen

Or the commercial could be a 16-second spot designed to SELL A CAR.

If you want a documentary, go friggin make one. Ford is in the business of selling cars, not promoting Henrik's green agenda.

electric-car-insider.com

How does this ad actually promote the Focus Electric? We learn nothing from the ad except:

1) Its ok to drive like an idiot.
2) EV chargers exist in a vast wastland
3) People who drive EVs are obnoxious jerks
4) Plug it in and start walking.

This ad targets what demographic? What demographic buys EVs like the FFE? The overlap is what?

5) Confirms Ford is not serious about selling EVs.

107 mile Nissan Leaf with DC fast charging will hit dealer showrooms soon. Just about the same time Focus Electrics start coming off lease. Hard to imagine Ford dealers selling 2x the number of FFE they did over the past 3 years without super big discounts or a more credible advertising campaign.

electric-car-insider.com

How does this ad actually promote the Focus Electric? We learn nothing from the ad except:

1) Its ok to drive like a teenager.
2) EV chargers exist in a vast wastland
3) People who drive EVs are obnoxious.
4) Plug it in and start walking.

This ad targets what demographic? What demographic buys EVs like the FFE? The overlap is what?

5) Confirms Ford is not serious about selling EVs

107 mile Nissan Leaf with DC fast charging will hit dealer showrooms soon. Just about the same time Focus Electrics start coming off lease. Hard to imagine Ford dealers selling 2x the number of FFE they did over the past 3 years without super big discounts or a more credible advertising campaign.

Aaron Turpen

Your post, electric-car-insider.com, proves that green car proponents:

1) Have no idea how automotive marketing works.
2) Have no idea what advertising's goals usually are.
3) Are clueless about who the target market is.
4) You think you have a superior knowledge of how to make a 16-second commercial people will actually watch.. but don't.
5) Can draw conclusions based on nothing tangible.

The ad is clearly aimed at a younger market. Probably a lot younger than you. The Focus has sporty driving and a fast pace as its primary selling points in this BEV, unlike teh LEAF. Unbeknownst to most EVangelists who cannot fathom anything beyond their mother's basement, most car buyers are emotional buyers, not logical ones. You get people into dealerships by showing off the cool factor.

This is why most automotive commercials (or any other commercial that actually sells) show unrealistic scenarios. How often does the soccer mom really "save the day" by having a miniature school bus at her disposal to get the entire soccer team to the game on a moment's notice? How often does the truck owner actually go to a jobsite and load a bunch of heavy crap into his otherwise pristine pickup and haul it around on dirt roads before meeting his beautiful model wife at the barn? How often do sports car buyers actually, realistically, take their cars to the track and blow away the competition in drifting and performance driving?

Ya, so, by all means, pretend that commercials as documentaries about a car will actually sell it. They don't.

BTW, when all of those used Focus cars hit the market, they'll sell like five-day-old dead fish. Just like all of the other used EVs do.

Account Deleted

EV buyers are wealthy and therefore predominantly older people (50 plus). They are better educated and does not fall for commercials that are outright lame. Everybody likes humour. So make a series of 16 sec commercials that takes one or two of the points I mentioned above and present it with humour but in a way that leaves the viewer with a feeling of guilt (for polluting the environment) or stupidity (for picking a car that has no trunk space and cost a fortune in gas) or cowardness (for not supporting national security). The commercials could be a mix of the tragic comic, the ironic and even the sarcastic.

I agree that today's ultra short range BEVs are not going to be anything but a niche market and they have low reselling prices. However, Tesla has become the market leader in its segment already and will take about 40% of the global market for 80k USD plus car by 2017. Tesla's reselling prices are very high because of the outstanding durability of their cars. See for yourselves at http://www.teslamotors.com/models/preowned

Tesla does not need to spend money on commercials yet as they have plenty of publicity and customers even without it. I fear the old auto industry will not make anything useful in terms of BEVs. So we need to go past 2020 when a series of large IT companies start selling mass market BEVs and taxi services before we get good BEV commercials.

electric-car-insider.com

Aaron, you're entitled to your point of view, and there's a community here that would ordinarily be interested to hear it, but what do think you gain when you resort to childish personal attacks on other posters? It completely undermines your credibility.

No one has suggested that Ford's EV commercials should be documentaries.

Your view that "The Focus has sporty driving and a fast pace as its primary selling points in this BEV" is kind of curious. Who do you think buys this car? Young people? You might want to check the sales stats before pushing that line too hard.

That positioning certainly wouldn't differentiate it from dozens of other cars on the road. How does your POV promote the FFE's unique value proposition? How does it appeal to prospective EV buyers?

Ford sold 680 Focus Electrics in 2012 and 1,738 in 2013, the vast majority on lease, ensuring that these cars will end up back on dealer lots. Without a refresh or significant differentiation in the 2016 Focus Electric, how do you think that will affect the new car sales? Ford sells about 2,000 FFE each year now.

It's going to take something more than 15 second video spots featuring hipsters pulling a handbrake turn in a front wheel drive car to move that metal.

(don't try drifting, pulling bootlegger turns or broadies in a front wheel drive car, kids).

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