Ford has signed up the England football defender, Stuart Pearce, to star
in its latest Escort commercial.
Pearce is seen in the ad living up to his footballing nickname,
‘Psycho’, as he takes on a traffic warden who threatens to give his car
a parking ticket.
The ad was originally meant to be a regional film for the Central
England Ford Dealer Advertising Association. However, Ogilvy and Mather
liked the finished product so much that it persuaded Ford to run it
nationally as the latest film in its ‘what do you do in yours?’ Escort
The wry commercial begins with the unfortunate warden discovering a car
whose time on a parking meter is nearly up. But as he prepares to write
out a ticket, a group of men appear, led by Pearce.
Confronted by Pearce’s hallmark ‘psychopathic’ stare, the warden
temporarily backs off. Then, noticing that the car’s windscreen has
frosted over, he prepares once again to issue a ticket, sure that Pearce
will not clear it in time to drive off before the meter expires.
However, he is finally foiled by the Escort’s Quickclear system, which
instantly defrosts the windscreen. Pearce, who famously had his spot-
kick saved during the 1990 World Cup semi-final, drives off and the ad
finishes with the line: ‘Stuart Pearce misses a penalty in his.’
The ad breaks nationally this weekend, with a version for Ford’s Central
England dealers featuring additional product information. The commercial
was written by Mike Brooking, art directed by Dave Keightley and
directed by Neil Abramson at Palomar Pictures.
The ad is the second in O&M’s Escort campaign to feature a celebrity,
following hard on the heels of an execution starring Lily Savage.
However, James Page, O&M’s business director on Ford, insisted that the
campaign would not become famous for a stream of celebrity endorsements:
‘The Escort work isn’t a celebrity campaign, in fact it is something of
a coincidence that we’ve used two so far.’