Ford Motor Company


  • Consultancy, analysis, research and development.


  • Planning and creation of press/radio advertising templates.


  • Development and production of learning materials including presentation binders and videos.


Client Background


Ford Motor Company has been the UK market leader for the past 30 years. It has an unrivalled ability to consistently produce vehicles with customer appeal, often introducing innovative technology and design in the process. Fundamental to Ford's success has been its awareness that in order to compete more effectively, advertising needs to be continuously developed in line with the rapidly changing marketplace and consumer expectations.



Our Objective


Star Marketing was originally appointed to improve UK dealer advertising standards and to advise and work with Ford’s mainline agency, Ogilvy & Mather, in rolling-out the programme. This appointment was made on the basis of our well established and successful partnerships with Ford dealers.

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Prior to this initiative, Ford’s dealers were effectively left to their own devices in terms of local advertising. Our job was to take the strategies that had demonstrably increased our clients' advertising effectiveness and apply them to the rest of Ford's dealer network.


The Strategy


We collaborated with Ford to systematically monitor the advertising material that was being produced by it's UK dealer network and in order to do this more effectively we established a variety of initiatives with the support of one of our long-standing transatlantic partners. These included a '5 minute ad test', which stressed objective appraisal rather than subjective judgement, as well as the foundation of a series of regional workshops, which enabled Ford's area managers and dealers to review advertising standards and analyse best practice. These regional workshops evolved into the ‘Dealer to Dealer’ programme, which we coordinated with Ford over several years.

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As part of this programme we created basic advertising templates and guidelines for dealers to use in their marketing campaigns. To promote the ongoing development of dealer advertising we also produced a series of presentation binders and video training materials. As a result of this, Ford's 'Look and Style' guidelines were established.

For the second phase of development we urged Ford to adopt a strategy that was based on appealing to desires and emotions; by stimulating the subconscious we were far more likely to win-over consumers and increase showroom traffic. We needed to emphasise emotional desirability rather than just the basic product - something which many dealerships were failing to do at the time. Simply put: we needed to sell the sizzle rather than the sausage!



The Results


As part of the 'Dealer to Dealer' programme we helped to establish Ford's 'Look and Style' guidelines which were then updated by our concept of 'Selling the Sizzle'. Specific market feedback indicated advertising enquiry gains of up to 50%, and a consequent sales increase of up to 30%. As a result of this - and the satisfaction of dealers with the material we had produced - Ford went on to further develop the ‘Look and Style’ guidelines, consequently establishing advertising standards which remain in place to this day.

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In fact, the programme was so successful that we were invited to share our methods with US dealers through the influential NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) in guest sessions at its headquarters in Washington DC. Since then we have continued to collaborate with Ford in order to develop advertising effectiveness in a constantly changing market.