Western New York Ford Dealers

Stunning advertising stunts that steered more people to a major motor company.


Advertising // Content // Design // Digital // Public Relations // Research

What do the Ford Focus, Fiesta and Edge all have in common? They’re fun, sporty and loaded with personality. That’s why when these three vehicles hit the road, the WNY dealers of Ford—one of America’s best-selling brands—hired us to come up with equally larger-than-life advertising and public relations stunts to get in front of more potential customers. At Mower, we take standing out seriously and having fun to heart, so here’s what we came up with for each campaign.

Focusing on fuel efficiency and fun.

The Ford Focus has won over families across the world for more than 20 years. However, when the second-generation model rolled out, the minimal changes received backlash for playing it too safe. That’s why the third generation of this ride hit the ground running with a noticeably slicker exterior, advanced safety capabilities and a fuel efficiency of 40 miles per gallon (in case you aren’t a car buff, that’s code for incredible on gas). 

To get the word out that the third generation of the Ford Focus was not your average vehicle evolution, Mower focused on two features—fuel efficiency and a new design that takes a ride on the wild side. Here’s how:

First, we did research to pin down the roads most driven by both NYS residents and outside visitors. Then, we created billboards with abstract images and clear copy that communicated fuel efficiency. We also took advertising to the biggest pain point of prospective customers—gas stations. Consumers would pump their gas and be forced to see “Ford Focus 40 mpg” in bold letters over the gas pump as they squeeze several extra dollars into their less-efficient vehicle.

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Second, we didn’t want to forget about the backlash of the previous Ford Focus model playing it safe, so we came up with a public stunt where we sourced a local Buffalo artist, Blair Rusin, to use the new model as a blank canvas. Over a two-day city art festival, Blair painted a mobile masterpiece right in front of the public’s eyes. Bystanders then had a chance to enter to win the car in exchange for their contact information.

It’s not a Fiesta without Ford.

Switching gears to a year later, Mower was again hired by the WNY Ford dealers to promote the launch of the sixth-generation Ford Fiesta—a fun-sized car that can hold more in its hatchback, accelerate faster and get way farther on gas than you would think.

It’s not easy to get consumers to switch from their beloved spacious SUVs or speedy sports cars. So, to relay to the general public that the Fiesta is so much more than a compact car, we hit the highway, targeting major commuter routes with a series of billboards. To draw the driver’s eye, we used clean imagery, bright party colors and clever copy. We even invented memorable new words along the way, like “funleaded” and “smilage.”

The results? We showed more people that good things really do come in small packages and drove more customers to local dealerships to see for themselves.

Life on the Edge.

This last stunt for Ford may be our favorite. A majority of the first Ford Edge were produced in the Buffalo Ford stamping plant—home to one of Mower’s offices. To mark the local vehicle debut, we created a stunt that would stun 40,000 spectators.

On New Year’s Eve, we worked with the Ford dealers of Western New York to raise the 4,000-pound Edge 140 feet in the air, where it would be lowered next to the ball drop and ring in the New Year. As the vehicle decended, fireworks filled the sky and an introduction message appeared under the car for all to see.

Now that’s how you drop a new model, spark interest and drive sales.

We turn brands into friends. 

With bright colors, clever messaging and bold public stunts, Mower was able to surprise and delight consumers for each unique car launch. But we didn’t just bring style and surprise, we created real connection by highlighting the unique capabilities that consumers care about in a car.

Key Brand as Friend® drivers:

Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.

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