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Ford Revs Up "Crazy Kevin" Ads For The Explorer

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On: Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 10:55AM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford Revs Up "Crazy Kevin" Ads For The Explorer

A few days ago Ford announced a new urban ad campaign for the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer led by actor and comedian Kevin Hart. The total marketing effort will include TV spots, print, radio, and videos which showcase the best features of the Explorer. Ford hopes the campaign will engage consumers with comedy and generate more brand awareness, partly because of the completely reinvented Explorer.

In case you've been hiding behind an anti-media force field, Kevin Hart has starred in such classic films as "Soul Plane", "40-Year-Old Virgin", and "Little Fockers". What most movie watchers don't know is that Kevin Hart began as a shoe salesman and changed careers to embark in comedy. His style is loud and fast-paced, which is a good fit for an urban marketing campaign since Ford intends to capture the attention of the average city-goer.

The new Explorer's starting MSRP is $28,190 and includes several significant improvements over previous generations. An intelligent 4WD system utilizes Ford's class-exclusive Terrain Management System, which allows drivers to easily shift into a driving setting which fits the environment. The terrain options are: Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow. Also, the 4WD system incorporates Hill Descent Control for particularly difficult declines.

Another innovative feature is the Explorer's Curve Control which senses the vehicle's speed around turns and engages throttle reduction and braking when needed. A 3.5L TiVCT V6 is standard.

In addition to interesting mechanics, the redesigned Explorer includes the industry's first inflatable rear safety belts, SYNC, and a collision warning system with brake support. The car senses imminent danger, displays a bright orange warning on the windshield, and reacts if otherwise ignored. Needless to say, the 2011 Explorer comes with plenty of enjoyable gadgets and features.

Here's a sample of the ad campaign:

Somehow the ad manages to cover the Explorer's Terrain Management System, versatile cargo space, and simultaneously features loads of 'Crazy Kevin'-style humor. Hopefully, however, Ford can keep Kevin Hart's comedy act in a commercially appropriate zone. He is notoriously known for vulgar stand-up performances like the 2009 Comedy Central special "I'm a Grown Little Man". But maybe that's exactly what Ford needs to launch the new Explorer and improve brand awareness.

If Ford is looking to focus on urban markets the Explorer's ad campaign has to be more engaging and entertaining than competing campaigns. Considering the popularity of the latest Star Wars VW commercial and other advertising hits, like the Dodge Challenger George Washington Freedom spot, Ford's decision to hire 'Crazy Kevin' may be a perfectly bold move designed to capture the hearts and minds of an already entertained urban market.

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