Posted by Dale Buss on June 8, 2012 06:35 PM
If you hurry you can still see one way that Ford just keeps on using Facebook for paid advertising even as rival GM has pulled its paid ads (and invested in Manchester United as a way to reach Chinese car-buyers). And next week, you can read a report that presumably will underscore how many advertisers still agree with Ford, not GM.
Ford is currently running ads for Ford-logoed licensed merchandise such as t-shirts and toy cars with the Blue Oval logo that the company just got out of hock. The idea is to promote them for Father's Day, so they're June 1st through 10th in advance of Father's Day on the 17th. The ads — a first for Ford's licensing operations — appear on the right-hand side of Facebook user profiles to visit Ford and motor sports-related FB pages, according to Bloomberg.
Ford has been charging up its licensed-ware business over the last few years. It now amounts to a $1.5-billion-a-year business at retail (though Ford, of course, doesn't realize that much revenue), up about 50 percent from 2005. "When we didn't take the government money" in 2009, even as GM and Chrysler were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, "the Ford oval became more popular with consumers," said John Nens, Ford's licensing manager, to Bloomberg.
Among items seeing increasing demand are Mustang men's cologne and a floral bouquet in a replica of the bed of a 1948 Ford truck. The biggest-selling Ford-licensed item, Nens told brandchannel, continues to be Hotwheels Mustangs. (Beanstalk is the agency that helped Ford expand its licensed products into new lifestyle categories.)
Meanwhile, comScore's latest research indicates that ads really do work on Facebook and that they're actualy more effective with Facebook users than the users themselves want to admit or even realize. Facebook, as you might guess, is a comScore client.
Even so, the report will add some timely fodder to a crucial debate about the marketing effectiveness of social media. The chances of it swaying GM global CMO Joel Ewanick to rethink his anti-Facebook ads, at least in the short term? Nil to zilch.