Ford’s “Bold Move” – The First Cluetrain Ad?

fordlogo.jpeYou may have seen advertisements on this and other sites touting Ford’s “Bold Move”, a marketing foray aimed at dramatically illustrating Ford’s attempts to publicly admit their faults and ask for public guidance to move the company in a greener, more successful direction. The ad itself derides Ford as having the “worst fuel efficiency records of any car company” and links to a smartly designed page with videos showing Ford’s management in frank discussion about the company’s weaknesses and the challenges in faces, not only environmentally, but also in terms of management, labor and more.
BlogAds founder Henry Copeland refers to this ad as being the first “Cluetrain Ad” – the first, and hopefully not the last example of a company ditching canned corporate-speak and attempting to open themselves up to a “real conversation”. Jalopnik rightly points out that buying up the blogosphere is a strange way to go about this, but it certainly has garnered the campaign a lot of attention and started innumerable conversations here and elsewhere.
Although it’s obviously an expensive PR campaign, it’s a pretty interesting site that seems to have been created with new ideas in mind, even if they do go a little over the top dramatizing it. If the “conversation” that’s occuring on the Ford site itself is still a little bit forced, perhaps by creating it, the less-canned conversations on this site and elsewhere will indeed spawn ideas that Ford may monitor and take to heart.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of TriplePundit.com

TriplePundit.com has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He was instrumental in the creation of TreeHugger.com, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years as well as an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.