FORD EYES GLOBAL ADS LINKING BRANDS STRATEGY: BUILD REPUTATION OF COMPANY AND DIVERSE MARQUES

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Ford Motor Co. is weighing a corporate-identity campaign that would break late this year in North America, Europe and Asia.

It will use a millennium theme to reinforce the automaker's diverse brands and technological expertise.

Jim Schroer, VP-global marketing for Ford, said J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, will submit creative "pretty soon. They're out there shooting it right now."

INTEGRATED DISPLAY

The campaign would tie in with efforts begun at the North American International Auto Show, held in January, at which Ford broke precedent to show its various brands in an integrated display, Mr. Schroer said.

Ford is seeking to establish the script "Ford Motor Company" logo, with individual brands listed underneath it, as a worldwide sign of quality, the executive said.

"I haven't seen the final creative for it yet," Mr. Schroer said. "If it does an effective job of communicating who the company is, that you should trust this company and we have this family of seven brands-if it's as effective as the auto show in Detroit was, you'll see it."

JWT officials declined to comment; Mr. Schroer would not specify the budget or media plans.

He said a key benefit would be in markets such as India, where Ford sells a limited range of vehicles. For consumers there to know that Ford also owns prestigious brands such as Lincoln, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Volvo would enhance the reputation of Ford-branded products, Mr. Schroer said.

Other Ford brands are Mercury and Mazda, which Ford controls while owning a minority interest.

GLOBAL APPROACH

Because the creative would be shown in diverse markets, the ads may not show many specific vehicles, he said.

"As opposed to a normal commercial, this has to be global," Mr. Schroer said.

Connecting brands in advertising also could serve internal goals by prodding divisions to differentiate brands more clearly, he said.

That effort will be seen in this fall's launch of the redesigned Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. In the past, the two cars have been virtually identical vehicles with different badges, but Mr. Schroer said the new models have distinct

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