October 21, 1999 – Photographers invade Ford country to find real-world truck stories
DEARBORN, Mich., October 21, 1999 – Ford truck owners are a loyal bunch who love their trucks, and love hearing stories about those trucks. So Ford sent a trio of well-known photojournalists into the heart of Ford Country to capture real-word stories chronicling the trucks and their owners.
“What’s tougher than real life? And what’s a better testament to the toughness of our Ford trucks than to see how real people put them to the test day-in and day-out?” said Jan Klug, Ford Division’s marketing communications manager. “Our new ads were shot news-style by photojournalists, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Time and other publications. They document real-life stories about how tough our Ford trucks are. Ford Country is where real life happens,” Klug said.
In addition to taking the photographs, the photojournalists also gathered the quotes used in the print ads. Photojournalist David Alan Harvey, traveled to the Outer Banks of North Carolina during hurricane season. There he found Brian Dills working to repair a house damaged by Hurricane Dennis_and using his F-Series truck to get the job done.
Photojournalist Joel Sartore discovered hunting and fishing resort owner John Walters. Walters drives a 1986 F-Series with 144,000 miles in temperatures which dip to forty-five below zero. He tells us that it continues to start time after time.
“This is how we design our trucks_they live with the people who use them. Rugged, tough and built for life_Built Ford Tough,” states Al Giombetti, Ford Division truck brand manager.
There’s also a whimsical side to Ford Country. Photographer William Albert Allard captured a fan watching a race in Pennsylvania from the bed of a Ranger pickup truck owned by Eric Sides. Eric had customized his Ranger by building a mini grandstand bleacher in the pickup bed. His innovation ensures that he and his friends always have the “the best seat in the house” at dirt bike races.
The print ad campaign breaks early November and will be seen in publications such as: Four Wheeler, Boating, Outdoor Life, Today’s Home Owner and This Old House. The ads, from Red Hammer, J. Walter Thompson’s print creative group, will run through the end of model year 2000.
The television campaign, also developed by J. Walter Thompson, breaks October 30, 1999 during college football. There will be four national spots: “Built Ford Tough”_this is the umbrella ad which defines Ford Country; “Fishing Lure” which illustrates the most torque in class advantage F-Series enjoys; “Wrecking Ball” which centers on the Super Duty F-350’s largest payload in class; and “Meteorologist” which features Ranger’s bulge body shock absorbers for tough 4X4ing.
Ford Division is the top-selling brand of cars and trucks in America. It set a 1999 model year record with 2,484,354 truck sales. Ford’s F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 22 consecutive years, and Ford Ranger set a 1999 model year sales record with 368,178 units, breaking a record set in 1994.