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Ford Motor Co. will target college students and women with its Ford Escort ZX2, scheduled to be launched April 17.

Ford will show off the new coupe on 80 college campuses starting this spring, said Brian Miller, youthful brand manager at Ford Division. That's 22 more campuses than the division stumped last year, when it started the tours.

The campus tours are again a part of Rolling Stone's Rock & Roll Bowl-Ford will be the presenting sponsor-and the CBS College Music Tour.


To help Ford reach its intended target, the ZX2 also will get a big interactive push.

J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, has developed a CD-ROM called Highway ZX2, touted on ads on 10 Web sites.

The CD-ROMs-which include games, music and a virtual tour of the car's interior and exterior- will be available this week at Ford dealerships. Consumers can also order one via Ford's Web site (http://

"We learned last year from talking to our target that their primary source of information is the Internet, so a key part of this launch is to talk to them on their turf and in their own language," said Mr. Miller.

A 1996 survey by J.D. Power & Associates released last month showed that 22.3% of buyers in the premium compact car market in which ZX2 will compete used CD-ROMs once a month.

An 800-number will be included in ads that will start appearing in about 35 magazines this month. One ad promotes Highway ZX2.

Ford will spend an estimated $25 million to advertise the new coupe; the tagline is "Grab life by the wheel" (AA, March 3). The integrated campaign includes TV, radio and outdoor ads.

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