"The Ford Flex is electric. When you see it, it provokes a reaction," said Jim Farley.
  • Exciting and provocative marketing campaign for Flex begins this week
  • Using both traditional and innovative marketing techniques, Ford will reach millions of consumers through a variety of mediums
  • Ford partners with Esquire for the world's first electronic magazine front cover
  • Opportunities with Apple iPhone and Microsoft's Xbox take the campaign to a new audience

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 3, 2008 – Ford Motor Company and JWT Team Detroit are launching the new Ford Flex marketing campaign this week. Backed by a robust, multi-tiered media plan and a distinctive creative approach, the Flex campaign was developed with a singular and precise focus – to excite, stimulate and surprise the current crossover audience.

"The Ford Flex is electric. When you see it, it provokes a reaction," said Jim Farley, Ford group vice president, Marketing and Communications. "So the approach we're taking to launch the vehicle is unconventional and quite unexpected."

"A unique vehicle warranted a unique approach," said George S. Rogers, president and CEO of JWT Team Detroit. "For the Flex launch, we employed three new processes during our developmental cycle. Beyond just developing a brief, we also established a robust 30-page brand book which went far beyond the traditional style guide. The brand book served as the ‘Holy Grail' for all of our creative to be measured against."

The campaign kicks off nationally this week with two television spots that celebrate Flex's individuality. The provocative 30-second ads were directed by Mark Romanek, an accomplished music video and feature film director. Romanek has won more than 20 MTV awards, three Grammys, a Country Music Award and three Billboard Music Awards.

"Romanek helped us create a set of commercials which brought fictitious worlds to life in a vibrant and impactful way," said Usha Raghavachari, Ford crossover marketing communications manager. "We deliberately created ads that are unlike anything Ford has done in the past."

Both spots ("Grid" and "Lights") offer a sophisticated, computer-generated tour of the Flex's design and technological features, and are backed by the music of DJ Squeek E. Clean and the vocals of Santogold – an emerging singer/songwriter hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 10 artists to watch.  The two new spots will begin airing today in regular rotation.

Beyond traditional print and outdoor billboard executions, Team Detroit also developed 360-degree CGI animations that show almost every angle of the vehicle's features.

Esquire Partnership

The Ford Flex will be featured digitally in Esquire's 75th anniversary edition. The October issue will be the first mass-produced print product to use electronic paper display technology. The front cover of the magazine and the double-page advertisement for the Flex inside the front flap feature moving words and images created using flexible electronic display technology produced by E Ink, the same company that developed the technology used in's electronic reader, Kindle. 

"The whole team is very excited about the opportunity to be part of this campaign," Raghavachari said. "This execution is a great example of how we're introducing the Flex to the world in a non-conformist manner. We're hoping that the issue jumps off the shelves."

Digital Animations

From a digital perspective, Ford and Team Detroit have created a series of CGI animated mini movies, which were designed to entertain viewers, while informing them about the vehicles. The vignettes focus on the key elements of the Flex: design, interior packaging, safety features and engineering strengths. The movies can be found at

Emerging Media

In the ever-increasing realm of emerging media, Ford and Team Detroit focused its efforts on creating four new applications for iPhone, Xbox, Dish and Yahoo. The iPhone application, which allows users to digitally manipulate photos they've taken on their iPhone, also will allow users to view Flex features and information, including exterior and interior 360-degree animations, photo galleries, and a dealer locator using the iPhone mapping application.

The creators developed the Flex Xbox Live Branded Destination Experience and Xbox Marketplace Downloads, which gamers can use to download exclusive Flex Theme Packs and Picture Packs to their console, view Flex videos, photo galleries and get vehicle information.

The group will also be launching the Flex Dish Showcase, which allows users to link out from Flex commercials or access the showcase through their interactive program guide. This showcase will allow viewers to look at Flex photos and videos.

Ford also partnered with Yahoo! for their Yahoo! Go Beta 3.0 mobile media launch. The program creates instant brand engagement on smart phones with pre- and-post-roll rich media featuring the new 2009 Ford Flex. Users will be able to click and view a mobile-hosted Flex video through targeted banners running within the Yahoo! Go application.

Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Ford also has partnered with World Wide Pants to create branded content on the "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson." Beginning Thursday, Sept 4, eight original episodes (with one repeat) will air every Thursday featuring Flex-branded content.

The skits will focus on Ferguson's cousin Angus and his band the Highlanderz as they journey from LAX to the CBS Studio. With bagpipe virtuoso Philip McGrade in tow, the group will encounter hilarious situations as travel across America.

About the Vehicle

With its signature side grooves, all-black glass area and distinctive multi-panel Vista Roof™, the Ford Flex is like no other vehicle on the road.

Flex offers spacious seating for up to seven passengers and a host of class-leading technologies, such as an integrated refrigerator between the second-row seats; SYNC, an advanced in-car system developed by Ford and Microsoft that voice-activates Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and MP3 players; EasyFuel™ capless fuel filler; ambient lighting and a reverse camera system. 

SIRIUS® Travel Link™ is available as part of the vehicle's voice-activated navigation system. It provides users with a suite of data services including continuously updated fuel price information for more than 120,000 gas stations.

Flex ranks among the best in its class for fuel economy, delivering 24 mpg on the highway. Pricing for the vehicle starts at $28,895, including destination.


# # #

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 229,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit