Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ford's VP of marketing and communications is an ostrich.
Jim Farley, the ostrich mentioned in the title, had an epiphany when he jumped from Lexus to Ford. When he told his upscale Santa Monica neighbors that he joined Ford, they told him they wouldn't buy a Ford. "I realized they had gone past skepticism to apathy."
Wow, I realized recently if I'm holding an apple in my hand and drop it, it will fall to the earth.
C'mon, Jim. Ford's market share has halved in the last twenty years--today in the US, it's market share and sales are slipping every quarter--it's down to an all-time low of just 13% today. How many of your Santa Monica neighbors drive Fords? You just realized this?
But the ostrich persists. Research done, I suppose by the George W. Bush Institute for Reality Avoidance, tells Farley that 45% of Americans "already like Ford." So, Farley believes that having consumers and dealers tell Ford's story will increase sales and revitalize the brand.
Farley might have his head in the sand about Ford's future, but he's brilliant in preserving his own. As reported by Adweek, Farley cautioned people not to judge the success of Ford's campaign this month or next. "The judgment on this will be five years from now."
In other words, even as Ford's market share continues to plummet, he's got a job through 2013.
And now, some poetic words by Paul Simon, from his song "Papa Hobo."
It's carbon and monoxide
The ole Detroit perfume
It hangs on the highways
In the morning
And it lays you down by noon
Oh Papa Hobo
You can see that I'm dressed like a schoolboy
But I feel like a clown
It's a natural reaction I learned
In this basketball town
I been sweeping up the tips I've made
I'm living on Gatorade
Planning my getaway
Got a hell of a hockey team
Got a left-handed way
Of making a man sign up on that
Automotive dream, oh yeah, oh yeah
Oh, Papa Papa Hobo
Could you slip me a ride?
Well, it's just after breakfast
I'm in the road
And the weatherman lied,
Oo-------, Ah-----, Oo-------
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:29 AM