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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ford’s ad tells a lot about its view of older people


Full marks for Ford for paying some attention to oldies, however, its choice of ads tells a lot about how it positions the older age group.

Early in the year there was the ad about making hill starts easier with the “Hill Assist” feature. In the most recent copy of Saga there is the above ad to ensure the poor old sods don’t stick petrol into a diesel car, or visa verse. It is not as if this is a new feature – it was launched in 2005.

You can just image the scene in a Ford marketing communications strategy meeting when they are trying to think of all of the features of their cars that might, in their view, be appropriate for older people.

Let’s hope 2010 is going to see a few more inventive ideas than we saw in 2009.

I am feeling in a particularly generous mood so I will give Ford some free consultancy. Cripes, in the company’s current financial state I doubt if they could afford my fees.

If you want to develop a feature that would guarantee you a surge in older customers then create something that makes it easier for older, like the 50-plus, to drive at night. Crack that one and you will see the customers come in their droves. Dick Stroud

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