Every advertiser, whether it's Budweiser or Uber, wants to go big for the NFL's big game. But, when it comes to Super Bowl ads from automakers, you tend to get a little bit of everything.
Ford has always placed itself as the most wholesome family brand of the Big Three, somewhere between General Motors' relentless pursuit of the perfect machine and Mopar's outlandish proprietors of speed (gotta love the Dodge Challenger) and off-road capabilities (we're looking at you, Ram and Jeep trucks).
The Detroit, Michigan-based automaker's Super Bowl ads have reflected this middle ground. Fewer digs, less serious tones, just warming over their faithful buyers with blue oval blankets.
3 of the Best Ford Super Bowl Commercials
Ford's Commitment to Going Further
In our current era of mobility and all-electric-vehicle focus by Tesla and just about everyone else, Ford Motor Company set their aim 10 years ago in the launch of their "Go Further" tagline with this TV commercial.
In a series of vignettes of everyday struggles, exemplified into their comical nightmare scenarios, the Super Bowl spot emphasizes Ford's growing transportation focus in the simple idea that nobody likes getting stuck, whether it's in traffic or in their t-shirts. It's humorous, without being rude, while managing to push the agenda just enough.
Ford's outlook during the '08 crash was shaky, the brand had literally leveraged the farm -- including their own logo -- to hedge their coffers against the impending economic losses, and perhaps that determination a decade later was expressed through the little victories here.
It's Not Easy Being...Green?
As hybrids were coming into the market, Ford looked to break the ice with their traditional owners in this 30-second spot. And who could get mad at Kermit the Frog?
Sure, watching a puppet get thrashed by white-water rivers is its own entertainment, but the clever punchline is that the Escape Hybrid made it easy to be green.
Ford had to shrug off some of the hesitation that came from the Prius stereotypes for hybrids, and normalizing the powertrain under one of their most popular SUV platforms helped to bring buyers over to this relatively new tech for the era. It was easy to be green simply because, in Ford's eyes, you made no sacrifices here.
It was just a small SUV that happened to be fuel efficient, instead of the entire product's ethos and image being centered around environmentalism.
The Return of the One, the Only, Ford GT
In the mid-00s, Ford was losing the performance game handily to GM's new round of LS engines, even without the Camaro and Firebird still standing.
The Corvette was America's darling sports car, the GTO was picking up where the F-bodies left, and there was no hope for the Ford Mustang to keep pace while still rocking an aging solid-axle platform powered by the infamous 3-valve 4.6L mod-motor.
The GT supercar introduced two things for Detroit's most diehard at the dealership: the spawning American retro craze that continues to this day in products like the Bronco, and a refocused approach to performance with a machine that left little on the table from an engineering stand-point, unlike the cost-focused Mustang.