1997 Ford F-150’s Maiden TV Commercial: Throwback Thursday

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“The job was to build a tough truck,” Ford claims in this ad. But one that could also haul the family on the weekend.

This week’s “Throwback Thursday” video features the introductory TV commercial for the 1997 Ford F-150. This year was an important one for Ford, as it introduced the tenth-generation of the best-selling pickup with a new exterior design, and new features that separated it from the competition. This was a bold departure from the previous F-150 squared bodies up until 1996. All-around the 1997 F-150 looked nothing like it did the previous year.

As this commercial by Pat French points out, the 1997 F-150 was the only SuperCab pickup with a standard third door, the only one with a 60/40 split rear bench seat, standard dual airbags in its class, and the Motor Company added extra legroom to make it more comfortable for weekend family escapades. Ultimately, the company’s goal was to build an even tougher truck than they had before, but without overlooking convenience and comfort.


To drive home such accomplishments, this TV commercial shows the truck working hard on a job site while a work crew unloads materials through the rear door, and utilizes the split bench seat. However, since the F-150 is also a family vehicle, the commercial ends by showing a family climbing out of the truck and unloading fishing gear and a four-wheeler. This further emphasizes the F-150’s versatility.

Perhaps 1997 was the turning point when pickup trucks began to morph from work-only vehicles into everyday family rides. What do you think?

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

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