Ford Drops Two New F-150 Ads During NFL Games Sunday
Safety, Capability Among Major Selling Points
Ford released two brand new ads for the F-150 pickup during Fox NFL Sunday, highlighting the truck’s five-star safety ratings and class-leading capability and efficiency.
The first ad, titled “Wake-Up Call,” touts the F-150 as the first volley in a pickup revolution. Its “military-grade aluminum body” comes bolted to a high-strength steel frame, a move Ford says contributes to the truck’s best-in-class payload, towing, and gasoline fuel economy. The commercial also addresses (although in fine print) that those ratings are achieved with three different engines, with payload going to the 5.0L V-8 4x2, towing to the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 4x2, and fuel economy to the 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 4x2. “Wake-Up Call” also flaunts the aluminum body panels’ ability to resist rust and corrosion, a siren song for those who’ve had to patch the bedsides of their 1992-1996 F-Series trucks. While it all sounds like so much marketing hyperbole, we genuinely enjoyed the time we had in the 2015 Pickup Truck of the Year–winning F-150 and can say that it tows, hauls, and drives with aplomb.
“Battle-Tested” is the ad that tells viewers about the F-150’s excellent safety rating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. By boasting the truck’s five-star crash test results on all of the government’s tests (irrespective of cab configuration), Ford is likely trying to defray some of the attention given to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s re-rating of the F-150 when it learned that some minor structural differences between the SuperCrew and the other bodystyles could result in some performance differences. In retesting the F-150 SuperCab, the institute found somewhat worse performance in the challenging small-overlap crash test. Unlike the Institute’s test, the government safety testing included provisions for all cab configurations from the outset, and the five-star rating applies to every new F-150.
We haven’t seen the third ad, “Brainstorm,” but it talks about the F-150’s newly available smart technology. We experienced Pro Trailer Backup Assist not too long ago, and it took lots of the guesswork out of trailering, even for the experienced pro who used the feature.
Interestingly, the F-150 ads were done without the use of computer-generated imagery. Ford even took the time to fabricate the 8-foot-tall steel stars the F-150 tows in “Battle-Tested,” and the stop-motion animation for the ads is kinda fun too. On the whole, the ads are informative, but it’s nothing you haven’t heard already if you’ve been paying attention. Still, with the ads guaranteed to appear throughout the NFL regular season, you can be sure there will be a few die-hard pickup fans counted in their reach. Those are the guys Ford is trying to impress, and the ads will do just fine.
As a sidebar, Ford released a fun animation of the F-Series pickup’s heritage today. Embedded below, the video shows 67 years of Ford pickups, starting in 1948 and continuing to today. For more than 30 of those depicted years, the F-Series pickup has been the bestselling vehicle in America.