Jack Palance stars in Ford's Super Bowl ad for its F-150, which thoroughly matches his ruggedness. Ad Age's review rated the spot pretty highly, approvingly calling it "probably the most memorable Ford truck ad ever."
The Super Bowl slot for the ad, by the Detroit office of WPP's J. Walter Thompson, is more of an exception for Ford than the norm. The automaker hasn't been a steady Super Bowl presence over the years, backing the Ford brand there in 2005 ("Green Light") and 2006 ("Easy Being Green") and promoting Lincoln in 2013 ("Phoenix," "Steer the Script"), but largely advertising elsewhere.
Stephen Odell, Ford's exec VP-global marketing, sales and service, reaffirmed in the runup to Super Bowl 50 in 2016 that the marketer was again staying out. "I'm not saying we won't ever do it, but at this point it doesn't make sense," Odell said during an interview from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The Super Bowl has "worked in the past when we've needed a really big bang -- lots of attention, lots of focus -- on something that perhaps we needed more awareness on," he added. But "our awareness numbers on all of our products and our brands are actually ratcheting up pretty quickly. It's not something we need at this point."
AGENCY: J. Walter Thompson
QUARTER AIRED: Q3