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Painting a Brighter Future Black at Ford

“So let the other guys keep dreaming about the future. We’ll be the ones building it.


The truth of the matter is, the roads of a local ad agency and the giant automotive industry seldom converge. True, Access has done a couple local and regional car dealership commercials over the years. And, yeah, I worked a couple award shows as a judge with Creative Director Patrick MacIntosh of the Aerosmith Dodge Truck ads. I regaled my fellow judges with my tales of an upcoming client newsletter while Patrick bored them with his stories of hanging out with Steven Tyler. Admittedly, my credentials as an automotive advertising expert are shaky.

Nonetheless, I have every right to an opinion on the advertising. The new Ford “The Future is Built” commercial really struck me, as I loved the concept and copy and hated the choice of music, a symphonic version of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.” Of course, Bryan Cranston does a wonderful job as the pitchman. Still, had that been all there were to it, I would have let it pass and simply remembered it as an interesting commercial that left me with mixed feelings.



The reason I felt it was worth further reflection was an interview I heard with Ford CEO Jim Hackett. It raised a lot of interesting thoughts about how companies of all sizes should look toward the future by leveraging consumer-generated data. If this is true for Ford, it also bears introspection into what our data can tell us about our customers and how we can help them in ways we may not have considered. The data revolution has come to every office.

The Freakonomics interview of this unlikely head of an industrial giant is compelling and well worth a listen. If it’s only about Ford’s quest to stop building cars and start making components for a “transportation operating system,” you’ll find it interesting.

Key takeaways include:

  • How a non-car guy became the top executive in an iconic car company.
  • The rise of urbanization and the steep decline in car ownership among the young.
  • How Ford can compete with Tesla.
  • How Ford will leverage information to benefit its customers.
  • Focusing on products and markets where companies know how to win.

Listen to the full interview here.


If you have questions or simply wish to have a discussion on research, data gathering, and how small businesses can leverage information into action, contact our Director of Business Intelligence, Rachel Spencer


Ford CEO, Jim Hackett


Topics: Blog, Business Intelligence, Advertising