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Ford's Farley Explains Single-Message Rationale Behind Global Focus Campaign

Consumers' Universal Love of Technology Drove Creative

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In anticipation of the 2012 Ford Focus launch and the global ad campaign for it that will break in the U.S. on March 1 during Fox's "American Idol" and in global markets thereafter, Ford Motor Co. Group VP-Global Marketing, Sales and Service Jim Farley, along with Elena Ford, director-marketing, sales and service global operations, took some time prior to a press conference yesterday to talk to us about the significance of the launch as the first true "One Ford" vehicle for the company.

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Ford's Jim Farley and Elena Ford talk to Ad Age about the global launch of the new Ford Focus.

Following months of pre-launch, social-media-driven marketing to get people talking about the compact car, which will be available for purchase in March, the 50 15- and 20-second TV spots, from a team of marketing experts assembled for Ford by WPP, will highlight the Focus' 14 technological features. Following global consumer research, "it became painfully obvious that we had to present the product with technology as the main message," Mr. Farley said when he was later joined on stage with Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, who added, "it is really about luxury technology without the luxury price." The tech-focused message will be consistent in all ads that run globally, a departure from past product launches for which campaigns would vary by global market.

With a goal of selling a million units annually, Mr. Farley said he believes the singular tech-focused message will resonate with tech-happy consumers no matter what country they live in, and at the same time distinguish Ford from other car companies. "We see technology as a key differentiator for Ford around the world," he said. In an interview with us, he discussed this decision as well as how the WPP teams around the world came together to execute it.

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