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
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
’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.’