Last night I came across the video below, titled 2013 Ford Focus ST — TV Commercial. It was uploaded last month. In it Ford says BUY A FOCUS ST…because it’s gets great fuel economy. Yes, Ford wants you to buy a car explicitly designed to invigorate your performance needs, because it gets ‘good’ fuel economy.
Slightly unrelated note: It’s interesting that Ford, a leader in all things social in the automotive world, opt for a Disable Comment YouTube policy. This speaks volumes to the worth of YouTube’s commenting community.
While the Blue Oval has done some neat things with Focus ST, such as placement in a Need for Speed promo, an autocross tour across America & a street rally to crowd source video; this spot reeks of generic consumer marketing.
Two things that bothered me.
1) “Is this car REALLY turbo charged?”, “It’s a turbo AND gets great fuel economy?” - Is there a widespread concept that turbo engines don’t get good fuel economy? Scratch that, does the general consumer even know what the hell a turbo means/is/does? Maybe next we’ll see a spot for the GT500 that says, “It’s a supercharged V8 AND gets great fuel economy?”
2) I understand fuel economy is important to buyers, but for those considering a performance trim like the ST or the GT500, are MPGs a key factor? If I’m staring at the window sticker of a GT500 is the 15/24 city/highway rating going to cause me to rethink my decision? I can think of 662 reasons why it won’t.
It is a fact that fuel economy improvements can mean reduced weight which does have the side effect of better fuel economy. But do performance buyers, people who buy STs and GT500s, really care about a few extra miles-per-gallon?
This ad should have gone like this:
*Enter corner, fast. Slight rotation, medium front tire slip*
Passenger: “BEEP yeah! This thing is awesome!"
Driver: “Pretty sweet, right?”
Passenger: "All this for under twenty five grand?”
Driver: “Yup” – Gas it. Camera shot - fighting slight torque steer.
Driver and passenger: “Whoa!” Both laughing
Announcer: The Focus ST – fun, fast, affordable. And surprisingly fuel efficient.
QUESTION: Should the marketing of performance vehicles be tailored for general consumption? Please discuss below ↓
*Disclaimer: I own a Focus ST.