Ford Unleashing Major Cross-Media Ad Blitz

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Ford Motor Company has enlisted an entire legion of musicians and international TV stars armed with digital marketing gimmicks to promote its upcoming Edge crossover SUV to North America and beyond. “Edge excitement has been building all year and now it’s time to build showroom traffic,” said Ford marketing GM Barry Engle in a statement. “The crossover segment is hot, and we’ve got the right product at the right time.”

The massive blitz will cost Ford at least $80 million, according to estimates, and includes custom social networking web pages and banner takeovers on AOL and MSN, a banner campaign on Yahoo, music and performances by artists like Montreal musician DEE, Korean musician and TV star Ahn Jae Wook, Hip-hop artist Kelis, Beyonce Knowles, and DJ Funkmaster Flex on various Ford websites, TV commercials as well as live events. The company is also sponsoring Rolling Stone magazine’s top songs for 2006 both online and in print.

Additionally, Ford will be launching several mobile sites and in-game ads inside games like Major League Baseball 2K6.

To reach China, Korea and Vietnam, Ford is also buying ad takeovers of sina.com and goldsea.com and has purchased air time on Asian TV networks.

The day before Christmas, Ford launches its TV ads, which include sponsorships of FOX’s NFL pre-game show. The Edge will be featured in several Latin and Hispanic shows including Unvision’s Sabado Gigante and Telemundo’s Vas o No Vas. And in January, Ford will be running interactive TV ads through the DISH Network.

Radio personalities Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner will have Edge vehicles to give away on their nationally syndicated programs. Ford is also putting up billboards and graffiti murals in major U.S. cities, including a spot for the Edge on ABC-TV’s 585 square foot digital billboard in Times Square. Ford is even going so far as to project images of the Edge onto the sides of skyscrapers in Boston, Miami and San Francisco.

According to Advertising Age, the push for the Edge is part of Ford’s attempt to revitalize its ailing North American business, which has shrunk 7.4% over the past year.

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