Posted by: David Kiley on November 4, 2008
Denis Leary is the new voice of the Ford F-Series pickup truck.
The new effort, from WPP’s Team Detroit, attempts to leave behind the ubiquitous feats of strength one-upmanship that seems to have dominated pickup advertising in the past few years. Like this Toyota ad:
Leary was cast for his grittiness that is combined with a “this is the way I see the world” irony that is in the actor’s voice in so many of his roles. he is literally known for his rants.
The 60 and 30-second ads are a flurry of fast-moving graphics and pictures of the truck with Leary’s hop-scotch narration of product benefits like fuel economy (best in class) trailer towing, payload, etc.
Team Detroit creative chief Toby Barlow says “the thermo-nuclear war is over in truck advertising” as far as demonstration ads go.
According to Matt VanDyke, Ford director, U.S. Communications, Marketing, dealers were concerned that Ford’s truck advertising was leaning too much toward the extreme truck buyer who buys the Super Duty version of the truck. When they saw Leary’s rants about how good the truck is, “the support was huge,” he said.
The focus of the campaign is around the F-Series' capability for contractors, builders, ranchers, etc. And part of that message is the fuel economy.
Ford's research shows a severe contraction of the pickup truck market among "image" buyers. Those were the folks who are weekend warriors/Home Depot shoppers who liked the idea of a pickup when gas was $1.50 per gallon.