In recent months, Ford has placed a larger emphasis on reaching out to consumers in growth markets and customers that don’t typically buy models like the brand’s F-Series line of pickups. Now, it appears those efforts are paying off. Just last year, the Ford F-Series was the fourth most popular vehicle among Black consumers, but through the first half of 2020, it has leapfrogged the Toyota Camry to top that list, according to IHS Markit registration data through June.
“As we talk about reaching and growing, it makes sense to talk about growth audiences,” Damoni Hurt, Ford’s cross-brand strategy and growth audience manager, told Automotive News. “We do well with our core; we always strive to do better. But some of the bigger opportunities to grow our brand and grow our market share, grow our sales, are to some audiences that we should talk to in a different and more meaningful way.”
Ford has used a mixture of targeted advertising, experimental marketing, and outreach efforts to achieve this goal. That includes bringing the Ford F-150 to college football tailgates and making pickups available for test drives at places like the Southern Heritage Classic, which attracts around 50,000 spectators through historically Black colleges.
Last year, the automaker also ran an advertisement dubbed “Ode to the Builders,” aimed at Black consumers, which was narrated by actress Angela Bassett and highlighted the work of several Black employees at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant.
According to Hurt, Black consumers are more concerned with design, connected vehicle technology, and safety features than the durability and capability of the Ford F-Series trucks that the automaker usually touts in its ads.
Clearly, these efforts are paying off for Ford. While F-Series pickups have enjoyed a tremendous surge in popularity among Black consumers, the same can’t be said for the competition. The Chevrolet Silverado sits in fifth place, according to IHS’s data, while Ram landed at number eight in the first half of 2020.
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