CELEBRATED ACTOR, AUTHOR, SINGER AND JOURNALIST KERMIT THE FROG MAKES SUPER BOWL DEBUT IN FORD ESCAPE HYBRID AD
- Kermit the Frog to appear in an integrated print, television and digital marketing campaign for the Ford Escape Hybrid that debuts during Super Bowl XL in Detroit.
- Two “stars” with impeccable green credentials – will appear together in a 30-second commercial in the second quarter of the big game, just before half time.
- Ford has committed to build 250,000 hybrids by 2010, as part of a corporate commitment to American Innovation
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 30, 2006 – Kermit the Frog, celebrated actor, author, singer, journalist and expert on all things green, will appear in a new integrated marketing campaign for the Ford Escape Hybrid that will debut during the second quarter of Super Bowl XL on Feb. 5.
In the 30-second ad spot developed for Super Bowl XL by JWT Detroit, Ford’s advertising agency of record, Kermit will encounter the Escape Hybrid – the world’s first hybrid SUV – while exploring the great outdoors. The full story line will be kept secret until the Super Bowl.
“There’s no better judge of what’s green than Kermit the frog,” said Cisco Codina, Group Vice President, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ford is the hybrid leader among American car companies, and we’re going to use platforms like the Super Bowl to make sure people understand that our commitment to design, safety and technology innovation is real – and on the market today. Kermit makes that message accessible to multiple generations of people all over the world.”
Introduced in 2004, the Ford Escape Hybrid was America’s first hybrid, the world’s first hybrid SUV and it remains the most fuel-efficient SUV on the planet. It was named 2005 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit for combining traditional SUV versatility with the efficiency of hybrid technology.
The Super Bowl commercial will kick off a broader campaign for the Escape Hybrid featuring Kermit. The campaign – which will consist of television, print, digital and outdoor advertising – will showcase Ford’s commitment to technologies like hybrids that reduce air pollution, lessen America’s dependence on foreign oil and save families money at the pump.
After the Super Bowl, Ford Escape Hybrid ads featuring Kermit will appear throughout the year, including on hit shows such as American Idol (Fox), CSI: Miami (CBS) and the Barbara Walters Academy Awards Special (ABC). Print ads will appear in influential automotive-enthusiast magazines, business publications, and newsweeklies. Digital advertising will appear on ESPN, MSN, America Online, and the Washington Post.
“Ford and Kermit are a match made in heaven; they’re both American icons, both family-oriented and they’re both green,” said George S. Rogers, President and CEO, JWT Detroit. “Kermit the Frog is an absolute celebrity and we’re thrilled to have him on board to tell the Escape Hybrid story.”
About the Ford Escape Hybrid
The Ford Escape Hybrid has both a highly efficient gasoline engine and an advanced electric motor. As a full hybrid, it can operate in gas-only, electric-only or under the power of both. A sophisticated control system automatically chooses the most efficient power source for any driving situation. For example, when stopped in traffic or driving at low speeds, the Escape Hybrid can run on pure electric power. Front-wheel-drive models achieve an EPA-estimated 36 miles per gallon in city driving, and can travel up to 500 miles on a single tank of gas.
Ford has committed to build 250,000 hybrids by 2010, as part of a corporate commitment to American Innovation. In addition to the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner Hybrids that are on the road today, Ford has announced plans to build hybrid versions of the Ford Fusion, Ford Edge, Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKX.
About Kermit the Frog
Born May 9, 1955, Kermit the Frog made his first television appearance in Washington, D.C. in 1955. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as a regular on the hit New York City-based children’s show Sesame Street (PBS), where his “man-on-the-street” interviews with nursery rhyme characters became an integral part of the award-winning program. Later, he served as host of the award-winning syndicated television program, The Muppet Show, which aired 1976 – 1981. His movie credits include The Muppet Movie (1979), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996) and Muppets From Space (1999). Kermit's song "The Rainbow Connection" was also a big hit from The Muppet Movie (it is also the only movie song sung by a frog to be nominated for an Academy Award).
Kermit published One Frog Can Make A Difference, Kermit's Guide to Life in 1993 in hardcover with Pocket Books. In 1996, he gave a commencement speech at Southampton College in which he came out as an environmentalist.
Kermit has made a number of guest appearances. In 1979, Kermit was a guest host for the Tonight Show, substituting for Johnny Carson. He continued to make appearances long after The Muppet Show ended in 1981. In 1987, Kermit and other Muppet characters co-hosted an ABC News special and he was also given the great honor of being the Grand Marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade in 1996. As an April Fool's joke, Kermit hosted CNN's Larry King Live in 1994 and 2002 and has appeared on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
About The Muppets
The Muppets deliver smiles and laughter to the world through heartwarming characters and stories inspired by the art of puppetry. Led by Kermit the Frog, the Muppets are a broadly appealing global franchise built on 50 years of original, award-winning entertainment that includes 44 Emmy nominations, six feature films, and The Muppet Show which captured over 235 million weekly viewers worldwide. The Muppets are true celebrities, with Kermit the Frog having his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Muppets will kick off the worldwide celebration of Kermit the Frog's 50th anniversary later this year. Visit www.muppets.com for more news and information.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.
JWT, which celebrates its 141st anniversary this year, ranks as the fourth largest full-service network in the world. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY).