I really like the ad unit Yahoo! started last year on their Yahoo! Mail website where a company can purchase the entire login page's background. It has a crisp, generous look and the ad never gets lost in the typical clutter of ad banners, typical of other Yahoo! web properties. Today Ford decided to run a full page unit for the Ford Focus. Or did they? It seems like that was the plan until someone, or is it some thing, decided to takeover the promoting of the all-new Ford Focus.
That "thing" if you haven't heard of it by now is Doug, Ford's Spokespuppet. And yes, "spokespuppet" is not a real word; instead, it is a whole new concept in automotive marketing lingo. Doug and his human sidekick John are bringing some humorous snark to the launch of the Focus. It's almost a little sad that the focus (pun intended) here is an orange puppet when Ford has an amazing new re-introduction of the Focus, having finally brought over to the States the European model that many have been asking for for years.
Back to Yahoo!
Ford's ad unit brought significant awareness not to the car (well indirectly it did), but to a puppet. All of the calls-to-action for the ad unit go to Doug's Facebook Fan page where one can "Like me. Love was not an option." Not one link goes to the Ford Focus website to learn about the car.
It's an interesting decision and perhaps a wise one as one website put it, "Ford Profit Fueled in Part by Social Media".
I can't think of any situation in the almost 4 years I've been writing this blog where a major ad buy from a car company drove entirely to a puppet on Facebook. Sorry, "spokespuppet."