By Alan Rutherford, the global media director at Unilever, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 23 September 2005 12:00AM
The love affair started with a pal's Mark III Cortina but swiftly moved on to the MKII Lotus version and then the Ford Escort Mexico. And I guess that summed up the Ford brand ... the day-to-day car that could bring the excitement of motorsport to the average guy. This wasn't the Vauxhall range for the company rep, or a boy-racer car, but a marque for the real aficionado, which most people could aspire to.
I remember my first XR3i: red, spoiler and 0 to 60 in eight seconds.
Actually, it was lent to me by Oliver Croom-Johnson, and my girlfriend and I cruised down to Torbay for a summer break
Then there was John Blakemore's Sierra RS Cosworth, with the "picnic table" on the back and 160mph top speed - a real supercar.
And the Sapphire RS 4x4 was a real rocket but still allowed me to load the kids and their various belongings in the back.
I had been foolish once. Tony Kenyon had convinced Steve King, Steve Booth and myself that the MG Maestro was so much better. So we all ordered and watched with anticipation as the troop of shiny new hatchbacks arrived. As I drove home, the on-board computer started speaking of its own accord and the car packed up in Camberwell. I knew then that I had to return to Blue Oval. My love affair with Dorland's and Rover was to be brief and I made my way to the home of Ford advertising, Ogilvy & Mather.
The ad for the launch of the Fiesta, "Ford's new baby", is a 60-second monologue that extols the virtues of the car (1). Hi-tech (for the time) graphics show off its coil springs and the fact that the car nudges 90mph and runs at 50 mpg. What's more, you can even fold down the back seats to load a pine chest of drawers. "No baby ever held the road better," boasts the ad.
The range ad of 1984 is a nostalgic journey that showcases the best of Ford through the ages, accompanied by a rich voiceover, courtesy of John Hurt (2). It really hammers home that this is a British car despite some vague American connection. The WWII Spitfire flying overhead served as a reminder of Ford's heritage, while the shot of the Ford GT reinforced the sporty credentials of the marque.
While "everything we do is driven by you" never quite convinced me, it was well shot, but a long way off the mark for us boys (4). I blame Brian May. And the Mondeo launch ad reinforces that the car is the reps' choice, with lines such as "beauty with inner strength" set against images of crashing oceans (3). It does, however, include a clever bit of production, with an innovative shot fusing the chassis to the body.
The 1999 Transit ad, "the backbone of Britain", celebrates white van man (5), but it is the Puma ad starring Steve McQueen that is the gem on this reel (6).
McQueen drives a Puma through the streets of San Francisco and it's superb.
Scenes from the film Bullitt were lifted and cut into the ad so it appears our hero is racing the Puma through the city. I love this film: the clever production, the look of the car and the final scene, where the Puma parks up alongside the original Mustang. This is what Ford dreams are made of.
1. FIESTA LAUNCH Title: Ford's new baby Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1977 2. RANGE Title: Evolution Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1984 3. MONDEO LAUNCH Title: Skeleton car Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1992 4. RANGE Title: Everything we do is driven by you Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 2001 5. TRANSIT Title: Backbone of Britain Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1999 6. PUMA Title: Steve McQueen Agency: Young & Rubicam Year: 1997
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk