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Timing Is Everything: Mike Rowe Spreads The Word About Ford Quality

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Mike Rowe in Ford's 'Spread the Word' campaign

Mike Rowe in Ford's 'Spread the Word' campaign

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2010 ford taurus sho photo update june 2009 008

2010 ford taurus sho photo update june 2009 008

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Earlier this week, TCC editor Marty Padgett saw a commercial touting the quality of Ford vehicles and how they're built better than Toyotas or Hondas. Given that Ford recently launched an incentive program to woo Toyota owners worried about the company's current recall fiasco, we thought this was just another example of Ford taking advantage of a rival's misfortunes.

Problem is, when we went looking for the ad that Marty described, we couldn't find it anywhere on the web, which struck us as highly unusual. We did find a news article or two that seemed to confirm our suspicions, but no clips. So we went straight to the source. And as it turns out, the issue is a bit more complicated than we'd thought.

Last summer, Ford began a marketing campaign called "Spread the Word", which highlighted the quality of Ford cars and trucks. To serve as the face of the campaign, Ford tapped its popular spokesman, Mike Rowe -- which wasn't a bad move, given that Rowe is apparently the fourth most trusted celebrity in America these days, just behind James Earl Jones, Tom Hanks, and Michael J. Fox. "Spread the Word" was a small campaign, so it came and went without causing too many waves. But now that the Toyotageddon is upon us, interest in the clips has been rekindled.

Since the footage of Rowe was shot months ago, it was never intended to be used as a means of kicking Toyota while the automaker is so far down on its luck. It's merely a coincidence that in discussing Ford products, the clips explicitly ding the quality of Toyota vehicles. Some dealer networks, however, have recently seized on the campaign's message and have begun re-using the footage for regional ads.

Frankly, we wouldn't have a problem with these spots even if Ford had whipped them up on the fly for a national ad campaign. Rowe's pitch is straightforward, and if there's a boastful edge to the message, his likable personality softens the blow, steering the ads out of trash-talk territory. Take a look for yourself:

[Ford]

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Comments (7)
  1. NEWS FLASH -- CONSUMER REPORTS A FRAUD – Consumer Reports IGNORES SAFTEY IN THEIR GEM BRAND TOYOTA: The biased magazine Consumer Reports was well aware of the safety issues in the Toyota Corolla. I quote Consumer Reports Corolla review: “THE STEERING IS A BIT LIGHT AND RATHER VAGUE”. Consumer Reports is a biased magazine that caters to the demographics of their customers in order to sell more magazines. The Corolla finished in sixth place from the top out of 14 vehicles. Consumer Reports cares more about their bottom line than the safety of their customers.
     
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  2. Hello
    It is interesting to know about Spread the Word campaign.It seems good.I have also watched that video about it.I like this Ford Taurus.Thanks for this information.
     
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  3. Mike Rowe is the one to sell Ford to the young women. My 25 yr old says she would by a Ford if Mike was the one to test drive a new car with her. At the moment she is planning to replace her Ford Focus with a Honda. However, Mike could change her mind. lol
     
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  4. To whom it may concern:
    In 2007 I purchased a Ford 2007 Mustang GT. It was a gift to my husband for when he came home from a 15 month deployment. When he was deployed all he spoke of was owning a Ford Mustang and now that he has one he is not sure that it was worth the money I spent. The warranty has now expired and things have started to go wrong, for example: emergency break sticks on the right rear caliber, the paint is starting to come off around the rear window and passenger door handle, casing around the door lock inside will not stay on, and passenger door window will not go back up when you open and close the door. In 2012 I plan to buy my husband Ford F-150 when he returns from yet another deployment, but now I am having second thoughts. I you can help me with these problems I might reconsider.
    Thank You for your time
    Kathy Blend
    kam1172@yahoo.com
     
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  5. Bought a Ford Escape in 2009 .Had a recall on it in Dec.2010 .Had complained about this problem since day one .Its March 2011 the Escape still is not fixed .They can not get the part because with the economic trouble most parts companys (for all makes and models )went bankrupt . We are told we have to just keep putting oil in the car and drive it as is . We have oil spots all over our driveway and in the garage . We have a 3 + year warrenty left but that does us NO GOOD .We can not drive this car long distance , or trade it in or sell it as it is .What would you do ? I have decided to go to the media .Want to join me ?
     
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  6. I know exactely how you feel Elzien. I didn't wait. I owned an xlt(2009)and fx4(2010). my fx4 was expensive and came with a host of problems. PH wouldnt hook up to bluetooth day of sale,front strut mount bracket needed replacing @ under 20000km,electrical problems always.All happened when it was humid or rainig from blowing turn signal bulbs to reverse sensor not working,and a vibration they couldnt find till i asked for a saftey @ 56000km,how convienient,and @safety time needed upper and lower ball joints on both sides @56k.Also a rust bubble on driver door. i bought the trk dec 2009 and last week they said no to warranty fix for it.i met the 3yr and under 60km and still no.bought from Parkside Ford in Winnipeg.Mike,help ford honorWarranty
     
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  7. There was so much wrong Elzien i just unloaded the clunker cuz Parkside didnt wanna honor problems.O.k when you buy a $60thousand trk you hope to drive it 15-20yrs.i wouldnt drive it 20 more days cuz i was scared what was next.I went in and salesman walked by me twice with no hi or nothing.and then they wanted to give me next to nothing on trade in2 a new 1.i know you get a lemon in every manufacturer,that why i'm writing this.Everyone educate yourself 1st b4 u buy a vehicle.i have 17workorders when i should have only had 6 maybe 7tops.rust warranty was crap and the vehicle was crap.i couldnt put up with there sideshow bob brushoff so i sucked it up as a learning experience,took a soaking on a trade in were other dealers gave more 2 me.
     
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