Ford's latest commercial for its Ranger pickup truck isn't at all what you'd expect—it's a beautifully shot film more reminiscent of a fashion spot, or even a perfume ad.
Eschewing the familiar SUV tropes of rugged men off-roading in mountainous terrain and treacherous landscapes, the film starts off with a group of swimmers, both female and male, taking a night-time dip in what looks at first like an illuminated pool. As they push their way gracefully and serenely through the water, it eventually emerges that they're swimming in a shallow lake, and they're lit by the headlamps of a bunch of Ford Ranger pickups.
The idea of the ad, created by AMV BBDO, is to demonstrate a key aspect of the truck's spec: its 800mm wading depth. The spot later depicts the trucks in the water alongside the swimmers and then driving onto the shore.
“The convention for pickups is to show rough terrain and tough loads, but Ranger has the best wading depth in the category. Showing it driving through deep water felt right creatively but also makes it stand apart from other pickups,” explained Martin Loraine, writer and deputy executive creative director at the agency.
"Our strategy was to create a campaign that would outperform typical pickup truck advertising," added Peter Zillig, director of marketing at Ford of Europe. “Ford Ranger is the number one selling pickup truck in Europe because, as a product, it stands head and shoulders above competitors. The outcome is a stunning demonstration of the Ranger’s class-leading wading depth, just one of the capabilities that make it the pickup.”
The spot was directed by Smuggler's Adam Berg and shot both in a film studio and on location in Romania. Running across multiple channels, it's accompanied by print and digital out-of-home ads featuring images shot by photographer Benedict Redgrove.