Share ideas that inspire. FALLON PLANNERS (and co-conspirators) are freely invited to post trends, commentary, obscure ephemera and insightful rants regarding the experience of branding.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ford's Bold Move

Sure you've already seen this on AdAge , but the Ford Bold Moves documentary is a pretty radical idea.

Assuming they live up to what they say with the documentary("rip out the bs out, rip out the political posturing" ), the honesty will be greatly appreciated. Ford isn't whining about people not buying American, they're rolling up their sleeves and allowing the public to see how they plan on turning the ship around. They're blunt about the fact that the competitors are not the Big 3, it's Toyota, Honda and Nissan. And they're straight forward about the fact that they have an inferior product, and their pricing structure is out of whack.

The social marketing conference that Adam went to had a discussion on blogging, and the 10 commandments of blogging:

•Listen and respond (Talk with, not talk to)
•Engage your audience (Tell your readers what you’re doing and invite them to get involved)
•Maintain the integrity of your blog (Never fake anything)
•Demonstrate passion and authority
•Use lively, personal writing
•Offer something new and unique
•Stay on topic
•Link often (Give credit where it’s due)
•Acknowledge mistakes (You’ll be making them!)
•Enjoy the conversation

(insert: ironic that this post doesn't meet any of the criteria.)

There was specific attention on corporate blogs, and one example in particular was Bob Lutz (GM Chairman) answering a question as to why a particular Saab wasn't released in the US. He initially stated:

“It was developed specifically for European roads and drivers, and, as such, is not intended for American needs or tastes.”
Bob Lutz, March 4, 2005

But, later in his corporate blog, he said:

“What I should have said is that BLS is . . . built on the same architecture as the Saab 9-3, that, for exchange rate reasons, we can't profitably bring to the United States. So this generation is going to be Europe-only. Our current thinking is that the next generation will be available around the world.”
Bob Lutz, March 10, 2005

The latter was a much more truthful response, and the honesty was refreshing.

What was my point? Oh yeah, the Ford Bold Moves documentary is in essence, a corporate blog and a good thing. This is what happens when product offerings don't live up to the brand promise. God bless the world wide web.

Check out the first couple episodes for the Ford documentarty here:

It isn't going to change public perception (or the product) overnight, but I'm intrigued enough about American business and economics to follow the story through. It is first a content piece ("The American people love the truth, and they love an underdog"). Second, it's about long term perception changing. Assuming they sell me on the fact that they're catching up with the Japanese manufacturers, and assuming I'm not in the car market for at least a few years, I might be more inclined to give Ford a chance. Great idea given their situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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