Ford gives Swap Your Ride another spin

Ford Motor Co. has relaunched its Swap Your Ride advertising campaign, which lets real customers talk about their impressions after spending a week behind the wheel of a new Ford car or truck.
Print and television ads debuted Tuesday, and the campaign’s 16 ads will run for 60 days. The Dearborn automaker would not say how much it is spending on the campaign.

The original campaign debuted in 2007, and Ford resurrected the idea again last year.
Matt VanDyke, Ford’s director of U.S. marketing communications, said when the creative team was brainstorming advertising ideas for the crucial spring selling season, we “realized the answer was in our own back yard with Swap Your Ride.”
The Ford Swap Your Ride ads are 48 percent more effective than other automotive sales ads campaigns measured between 2006-2010, said Lois Miller, president of Nielsen Co.’s Global Automotive Division.
“People reacted to the ads and connected them to Ford,” Miller said.
With so much commercial clutter on television, the ads have resonated with consumers for being genuine because they feature real people talking in their own words, Miller said.
Mike Rowe, host of the cable TV show “Dirty Jobs,” returns as front man for the Ford ads. Miller said Rowe is seen as “human, real and genuine. He has embodied everyman.”
The consumers in the ads were chosen from a pool of about 200 people in southern California and the ads were shot and produced in Los Angeles, said Mike Priebe, senior vice president with Jwt Y&r Retail First, which is part of Team Detroit, Ford’s main creative agency.
Priebe said 32 people were chosen to swap their vehicle for one of 10 Ford vehicles for a week. The consumers were interviewed by Rowe after a week of testing.
The marketing executive said dealers asked for Swap Your Ride to return.
VanDyke said until about five years ago, the company did national brand advertising while dealers did second-tier campaigns to get people into the showroom. But when the economy tanked, neither group had money to fund their respective ads so Ford looked for synergies to stretch each advertising dollar.
The new Swap Your Ride ads reflect that efficiency because they are designed to draw customers to dealerships but also hold the appeal of a national ad promoting the Ford brand.

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