Ford Fusion Ad Features Irrelevant iPod

From a review of the Ford ad on Slate:

This ad is all over the place. For one thing, it’s a car ad that shows people happily Rollerblading and riding the subway. Weird. The ad also flicks at the idea of fuel conservation (in that announcer’s line
“a car shouldn’t just use energy”), but the car is not a hybrid and its fuel efficiency is just so-so.

The oddest part by far, though, is that the spot
as it opens
masquerades as an iPod ad. There’s the iPod, clear as day. Center of the frame for several seconds. But this isn’t an iPod ad at all. Why the misdirection?

“We’re clearly going after the 25- to 35-year-olds,” says Linda Perry-Lube, car communications manager for Ford. “And this plays into that generation’s love of technology and their love of music. Also, the iPod is so iconic that people stop to watch the ad.”

Yes. Because people think it’s a new iPod ad. And iPod ads are often fresh and entertaining. When it turns out to be an ad for a midsize sedan, I imagine that people mostly lose interest.

The problem with abandoning any level of relevance to the actual product you’re trying to sell in your advertisements is that the betrayed viewer immediately asks, “Hey Ford, as long as you were busy non-sequiturizing, why didn’t you just go all the way and link the Ford Fusion with naked girls? Or naked girls holding iPods? Maybe they could be standing up through the sunroof, bouncing up and down.” Which is a much better idea, and would definitely sell more cars. After all, everyone knows a nice looking car is never going to get you an iPod, but might just get you a shallow, superficial girl!

Still, Ford’s advertising tactic is as pitiful as it is innovative. We at the Consumerist have never heard of any company trying to sell its product by advertising another. Anyone out there remember any similar ploys from different companies? Let us know in the comments.


Edit Your Comment

  1. e-harry says:

    This isn’t exactly the same thing, but there is this new Pontiac ad that tells people to “Google Pontiac” for more information and then shows the Google mainpage for a second or two.

    I kind of assumed this was some sort of thing where Google gave Pontiac some money to include them in their ads, but could it actually be some lame attempt to capture a young market? “Hey gang, we’re cool, we know what search engine you use! Buy a Pontiac!”

  2. dukerayburn says:

    Wal-Mart has a startlingly similar ad campaign happening right now, but it’s a bit more directly related since they’re actually selling the products featured in their ads. Target has been doing the same thing for years. They showcase the products they sell and then slap their logo onto the last second of the spot.

    Now if Ford were to have iPod integration native to the car, this would make more sense to me. But there’s nothing of the sort. They just slapped it in there to capture the target market, and that’s unimpressive advertising. I’m imagining the brainstorm session now. “Kid’s like these iPods. Let’s just put one in the spot! Who wants lunch?” If anything, it’s just lazy.

  3. What does it say about our culture that we’ve stopped using sex and started using iPods to sell products? Personally I’d be much more intrigued by this Ford ad if instead of the iPod the guy driving the car was . . . I don’t know. Topless. At least I’d go out of my way to see the ad (or more ads like it).

    It’s also pretty ridic that – as previously mentioned – they’re marketing this in a way that suggests it’s a hybrid. Even the damn name: Fusion. Definitely implies energy (and bountiful cheap energy at that).

    But then what are you supposed to expect from a domestic car?

  4. Brian Gee says:

    Geico and Energizer, though they lure you in with ads for fake stuff. Its lazy and cheap. They must blow their wad on the high tech mascot animations.

  5. non-meat-stick says:

    Wow, which do I despise more now? iPods or Fords?