Why is Michael Schumacher driving a Ford Figo
Michael Schumacher is driving a Ford Figo. With the driver at the helm, we see F1 racers Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso filling boot space.
In this case of course JWT India does work for Ford. The ads are for the Ford Figo, which is made in India and exported to over 50 countries since March 2010. So, is that the reason why the set of 3 creatives has drawn such flak. One should also duly not the fact that a zillion brands have had to deal with scam ads, which have been made in advertising circles for a long long time, and the practice shall continue.
The 3 posters have a similar agenda. A lead character smiling at his/her rivals gagged, bound and fitted in the car’s trunk to obviously highlight cargo space. In this case, Leave your worries behind. With Figo’s extra-large boot. The poster named Ford Figo Michael has Formula One legend Michael Schumacher behind the wheel of the car. With the driver at the helm, we see F1 racers Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso filling boot space.
While a smiling Michael Schumacher is seen smiling at the discomfort of fellow racers, Silvio Berlusconi, disgraced former Italian Prime Minister is seen smiling and sending out the peace gesture in the Ford Figo Silvio poster. In his boot are 3 gagged women with very shocked expressions and plenty of leather clothing. The poster named Ford Figo Paris has hotel heir Paris Hilton in the drivers seat seen winking with a wry smile at the sight of the Kardashian sisters holed up in her boot.
Ford India statement is as follows, “We deeply regret this incident and agree with our agency partners that it should have never happened. The posters are contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within Ford and our agency partners. Together with our partners, we are reviewing approval and oversight processes to help ensure nothing like this ever happens again.”
While the Michael Schumacher and Paris Hilton ads seem acceptable with a degree of comic relief (If only we could all tie up our competitors), Silvio Berlusconi’s poster only goes ahead, and tugs at a hurt nerve. Obviously, the man has no fans, is embroiled in an ongoing sex-for-hire trial, and has been in every newspaper possible for flouting norms and power. There obviously is nothing wrong in running a scam ad, and more often than not it has worked for the benefit of the brand in question. The JWT ads if not anything else has certainly taken Ford to Italy and Hollywood in a big way, and at the end of the day, however scathing an attack, any publicity is good publicity. So while, there have been a series of apologies this past weekend, not all 3 ads were as shameful or shameless as made out to be. The only lesson to be learnt is when picking popular personalities for creatives, some people are best left alone.