CLOSE-UP: CLIENT OF THE WEEK - Car lover guides Ford launch. Jade Garrett speaks to the car giant’s brand manager who is steering the Focus

Mark Deans, Ford’s brand manager for small cars, is car crazy. He divulges that he’s just got back from the Birmingham Motor Show where he was lucky enough to kiss the bonnet of a Ferrari.

Mark Deans, Ford’s brand manager for small cars, is car crazy. He

divulges that he’s just got back from the Birmingham Motor Show where he

was lucky enough to kiss the bonnet of a Ferrari.



Despite this unusual confession, it soon becomes clear he is devoted to

Ford, having spent 19 years with the company. He’s also the client

behind the launch of the Focus, the new small car that Ford has chosen

to replace the Escort.



The pan-European campaign, through Young & Rubicam, started quietly in

September when Ford did a promotion on Virgin Radio as a brief

introduction to the car. This was then followed by 48-sheet posters in

October which Y&R ran as a one-week nationwide blitz.



About 4,500 posters went up providing the public with its first view of

a silver Ford Focus. Double-page colour press ads were also launched at

this time.



After just one week of promotion at the Motor Show, the Focus has

finally hit our TV screens (Campaign, 23 October). Y&R has completed

five executions, three of which will air in the UK. The ads feature

young people who are shown as assertive and not settling for second

best.



’The Focus has a very broad appeal,’ Deans says. ’We are selling the car

on an attitude to life rather than demographics. People who buy a Focus

will do so because they want a break from normality.’



While the car’s price range is part of its appeal (pounds 12,850 to

pounds 15,850), Deans is also aware that it places the model firmly in

the most fiercely contested sector. ’We are competing with 22 other

manufacturers in what is the heartland of the UK car market,’ he says.

’But other competitors don’t deliver the emotional attachment that we

have associated with the Focus.’



In his time at Ford, Deans has had a varied career with responsibilities

ranging from product specialist and European advertising manager to

organising race and rally programmes in Essex. ’I’m glad I’ve done it

all,’ he says.



’The challenge was always there and I know I couldn’t get this

passionate about anything other than cars.’



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