Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ford F-150 Manly Typography

Typography, the art and technique of arranging type and type design, is starting to become popular in commercial advertising. Here we see a dirty, gritty, and rugged display of the English language laid out in a dramatic fashion to advertise the 2009 Ford F-150.

There are at least four other spots from this campaign. They include:

21 MPG. Most Payload
Super Crew: More Interior Room
Trailer Sway Control
Box Side Steps

The beauty typography possesses is hard to describe. It can redefine the way you read and interpret words. As can be seen in these commercials, a manly voice coupled with the words you read (painted and splattered on in all their rough-faced glory) can dictate the vibe received from the scene presented. The way some words enter or leave the frame, the size, color, font, or orientation of the text, and correlating background images all combine to deliver a wonderfully executed piece. Something I hadn't seen since the Starbucks Voting Ad.

Now for the criticism, because I am a pessimistic world-hating individual. Did you really think I was going to let these ads off the hook so easily?

Referring to the first ad (video shown above) - Congratulations, Ford. You just lost the sale of thousands of pencil pushers and hand models across the nation. Sure you may have gotten a righteous "Hell yeah," outta Pete the iron worker, but this line excludes many potential buyers. Maybe not so much the hand models, but "pencil pushers" are a dime a dozen! By the way... gas more expensive than Bourbon? Not any more.

Referring to the ad touting superior fuel economy and horsepower - They make fun of nerds and assume that you, the viewer, are a stereotypical meat head who made C's in school and wondered how those geeky students got straight A's. Well, were they right?

Referring to the Super Crew spot - TAH. You don't need no stinkin' shotgun. Great quote.

Finally, let's talk about the one with the side steps that pop out to help reach the cargo. To try and convince you that this is a must-have feature for your new truck and not just a worthless option, they "do the math" and show you how many times you will really use the extension. Okay, so to "do the math" I expect to see their estimation of how many times a day I'll be in and out of the tailgate, multiplied by 365 days in a year, times however many years they think the truck will last... but that's not what we get. Nothing but a rough end figure of 50 or 60 thousand times. I know this is a picky criticism, but without solid facts and figures presented to me how am I supposed to remain unskeptical?

Overall, these are a great set of commercials for the target market they aim for.

Guru Grade: 8 / 10