Backbone of Britain

  • Row of Ford commercial vehicles


In 1999 Ford launched a campaign that reinforced the role Transit played in the UK, dramatizing Transit and its drivers as the backbone of Britain. Twenty years later despite maintaining No1 position within the market, Ford were under competitor pressure and losing share, so how could we reinvigorate Ford CV brand, reconnect with the UK population and boost sales to regain market share?

This was not just a case of rinse and repeat. In the previous twenty years most of Ford’s competitors had copied Ford’s original campaign, it couldn’t just be a reshoot.  

Besides, 2019 was very different to 1999. The country had been through massive upheaval, leading to a period of uncertainty.

...Read More

We knew we couldn’t just recreate the same ad from 1999, but we needed to harness the sentiment and feeling that it created around the Ford CV brand. We wanted to get under the skin of CV owners to understand what was important to them, their views about the country, the economy and how they saw themselves and who they were as individuals to find a unifying insight/thought that could bring this disparate group together.  

Speaking with CV owners and drivers we found despite this uncertainty and chaos in the UK politics, those CV drivers were the one constant, keeping the country going supported by their trusty Ford Transit. Still the backbone of Britain.  

The creative transformation was all in the reboot.  It was borne of the enduring essence of the original idea but applying fresh insight for modern relevance and empathy. Taking a humbler approach, we focused on the hard-working CV drivers, happy to play supporting actor to those that really keep the country moving.

The campaign had a secondary but important audience.  Any campaign needed to have a positive impact on the wider Ford brand. Typically, consumers didn’t engage with CV communications and their only CV experience tended to be the ‘white van’ on the road. However, they are united as consumers of media. 

We created a complete brand reboot for Ford Commercial Vehicles that would run across all channels targeting those CV Owners and creating a positive brand perception of Ford with their wider consumer audience.

...Read More

The campaign launched in April 2019 and delivered 48% lift to Brand Impression and 41% Lift to Purchase conversion in its first phase.

It has continued to help Ford reengage with CV drivers with YoY improvements in engaged web visitors of nearly 50% and a YoY increase in leads generated of 271%. 

...Read More
  • Construction worker standing in front of a Ford commercial vehicle
  • Fishermen standing in front of a Ford commercial vehicle