JWT Attempts A Bold Move By Interviewing A Ford Critic

Over at The Truth About Cars, editor Robert Farago talks about his trip to JWT’s New York office to discuss Ford’s “Bold Moves” Internet-based efforts.

As soon as our chat commenced, I discovered that “transparency” was the name of JWT’s game. My bright eyed and tie-less adtagonist wanted to know if I– or anyone else– gave Ford props for letting JWT’s camera crew record, edit and post a “warts and all” look behind the scenes of the automaker’s recent struggles. To his credit, the ad guy didn’t seem to care when I said nobody (other than industry wonks and highly paid advertising executives) cared about Ford’s bold new blog. He remained unperturbed when I declared that the films had about as much edge as a beach ball, and that Ford is doomed. Like I said: editing.
Later, as I watched the sun set over Connecticut, I concluded that Ford and JWT just don’t get it. Using the internet as an alternative channel for corporate PR– no matter how “hard hitting”– isn’t a bold move. It’s the same old you-know-what in a different wrapper. As for the interactive part of the program, the “Ford responds” section of the site is a cruel joke. An anonymous Ford rep– no name, title or email– answers a carefully selected question. Surfers post their reactions. Then… nothing. It’s a total disconnect between consumer passion and Ford reaction that highlights the company’s ignorance, arrogance and intransigence.

I recently bought a car, and the shopping experience alone could fuel a few AdPulp postings and Talent Zoo columns as I truly didn’t have one car model I was hell-bent on buying. For what it’s worth, I made what was for me was a Bold Move and test-drove a Ford Escape Hybrid. The salesman couldn’t tell me anything about the hybrid system itself. Needless to say, he blew a potential sale.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.

  • http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog Spike

    So… what did you end up buying?

  • http://www.adpulp.com Danny G

    A Korean-born and Alabama-built Hyundai Santa Fe. And the Richards Group’s mediocre ads had zero to do with it.
    I’ve already chauffered our Dear Leader Mr. Burn & his girlfriend in it, so maybe he has a passenger’s perspective to share.

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    Smokin’ ride, Mr. G. Thanks for driving us around ATL!