Ford Drops Super Bowl Ads For Online Spends

Ford Motor Company will not be advertising during the next Super Bowl and are using that money to increase their spend in online marketing, Reuters reported today.

"Customers are spending as much time with the mobile smart phone or online as they are watching TV now, so our advertising dollars have to flow to where the people are," Ford's marketing chief Jim Farley told Reuters in an interview.

Farley joined Ford in 2007 and has been aggressive in taking advantage of digital marketing. The company leads the way in use of Twitter by any of the big 3 US car companies - having two accounts @Ford and @FordCustService compared to GM's @GMblog and Cheveolet's @Chevrolet.

The car industry has embraced social media. Chevrolet has even been advertising on Twitter.

Farley is "betting Ford can use Facebook and Twitter to accelerate the word-of-mouth recommendations long familiar to the auto industry and help the blue-oval brand connect with younger and richer people.

Farley said he learned at Scion that the only way to push past consumer skepticism is "to break into their world."

"You have to shove your way in there. The way we do that is to break down myths. The great thing about Americans is they are always hungry for something new," he said.

Ford's U.S. sales are up almost 22 percent so far this year, twice the growth rate of the industry overall," Reuters reported.

Interestingly Farley also told Reuters that the Super Bowl was a good place for unknown companies to build branding. It reminded me of Master Lock that used to only run one ad a year and it was during the Super Bowl. There ad of their lock being shot and still staying closed was a memory any person looking for a lock at a hardware store would remember.

If sales continue to grow after the Super Bowl and the company continues its successful marketing online it will be interesting to see who else drops their Super Bowl ads.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.