Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ford Queers The Pitch

For an auto company with a lot riding on a particular vehicle, Ford Australia appears strangely suicidal when it comes to advertising the Focus small car.

The Aussie arm of the global automaker is to begin building the Focus in this country in the next couple of years, hopefully soaking up some of the workforce made redundant by the impending end of the locally-manufactured I-6 Falcon engine in favour of an imported V6.

The German-built Focus got off to a poor start in Australia, with some suggesting it was coming from behind as an unknown nameplate seeking to replace the widely-recognised Laser. Sales have picked up in the last couple of years but Ford would do well to think through some of their marketing decisions with regard to the vehicle.

They've previously suggested that only narcissistic dullards would purchase the Focus with ads that showed primped male and female airheads leaving a hangbag and a phone on the roof.

Now they continue the pitch to the self-absorbed crowd with their 'Everyone's Journey Is Different' ads bundling the Focus together with their Fiesta atop a Brisbane car park.

Don't blink or you'll miss among the 'aren't we clever we bought this car' faces the first open pitch to homosexuals by a motor manufacturer in Australia. On screen for an almost subliminal fraction of the time given to others in the adverisement are a pair of tall, neat chaps with matching lap dogs.

Well done Ford - you've cast the Focus as a gaymobile.

Not that there's anything wrong with that if you buy into the idea that homosexuals are a huge cashed-up DINK demographic just waiting to be exploited. However, it's:

...a widespread myth that gay people are economically advantaged compared to heterosexuals. U.S. Census data and other national surveys indicate the opposite. In fact, gay and bisexual men earn anywhere from 13 percent to 32 percent less than heterosexual men.
-- Nick

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