Ford vs LTNZ

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 17-Sep-2007 07:46

For those who haven't been following the news over the weekend Ford NZ are very unhappy with the latest road safety tv ad campaign that has been launched by Land Transport New Zealand. Looking very much like a car ad it shows the driver of a late model Ford Falcon (with badge removed) losing control and ending up rolling down a bank.

Ford are very unhappy that their car is being damaged by this campaign - afterall their car contains traction control that may stop such an accident occuring in the first place and does infer that Ford vehicles are unsafe. I must say I have to agree with them fully. The first time I saw the ad I wondered how long it would take for Ford to be concerned about one of their vehicles being used.

What also concern me though is the fact that LTNZ have completely missed the point with this ad. How many serious crashes that occur are middle aged men driving late model vehicles? How many accidents resulting in injury or death are teenage boy racers driving crappy souped up cars crashing at speed? Why are LTNZ not running a campaign featuring boy racers driving a souped up Mazda Familia doing exactly the same thing?

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Comment by inane, on 17-Sep-2007 09:56

probably because the middle aged men are A) the rolemodels for the boys in the Mazdas,

b) the boys who used to drive mazdas or toranas but have now grown older (but not neccessarally wiser)

c) the mazda would not have made it around the first corner.

I agree with you though, when I first saw this ad I was shocked as well, I didn't think ford would have agreed to the use of a falcon,

Comment by Ciaran Riddell, on 17-Sep-2007 11:11

I'd say there are more middle aged men driving late model vehicles involved in these types of accidents, mainly due to alcohol abuse combined with driving. Road fatalities in New Zealand as at Monday, 17 September 2007 15-19 yrs 67 20-24 yrs 57 25-39 yrs 95 <- highest 40-59 yrs 88 <- 2nd highest 60 + yrs 79 <- 3rd highest

Author's note by sbiddle, on 17-Sep-2007 11:52

Your data is completely flawed and meaningless.

How many people in NZ are there aged between 25-39 that drive regularly?

How many people in NZ are there aged between 15-24 that drive regularly?

According to your stats 15-24yr olds are the single biggest group when it comes to accidents. That's a 9yr age range with a far smaller total population base than the 14yr range of 25-39yr olds who have a much larger population base.

Comment by alasta, on 17-Sep-2007 12:31

It really surprised me that they didn't just use an older model. It is very obvious that the vehicle shown is the current XR6, and I think Ford has every right to be upset given that there is definitely potential for the ad to send out the wrong message.

Comment by tonyhughes, on 17-Sep-2007 13:05

 would be negligent for Ford not to attempt to protect the interest of its shareholders...

Holdens rule though...

Comment by barf, on 17-Sep-2007 13:32

Well I've nearly been sent off cliffs by people who cross the center line so no sympathy for Ford here. It's de-badged and Toyota or Subaru aren't heard complaining when their cars are crashed in drunk driving advertisments. Ford, Holden or whoever else complains can cry me a river.

Comment by barf, on 17-Sep-2007 13:39

That advert makes a good point I'd like to quickly repeat.

Having traction control, ABS and the latest technology doesn't stop you being a bad driver. You must always concentrate on your driving. Do not get into 'automatic' in your brain.

Comment by wmoore, on 17-Sep-2007 13:42

This is not an advert for drink driving.
and it's a waste of 2 million dollars.
The advert would of been better if the guy was talking on his cellphone
or eating KFC.

Comment by wmoore, on 17-Sep-2007 13:57

"Comment by barf, on 17-SEP-2007 13:32

Well I've nearly been sent off cliffs by people who cross the center line so no sympathy for Ford here. It's de-badged and Toyota or Subaru aren't heard complaining when their cars are crashed in drunk driving advertisments. Ford, Holden or whoever else complains can cry me a river."


I think Fords beef was that it was a rip off of their own ad. The ad has too

many close ups of the front of the car...even with the badges off, most people know that it is a Ford.


Comment by Joh, on 17-Sep-2007 14:51

It was an advert showing a middle aged driver in a late model Falcon on winding roads - incredibly similar to a number of adverts Ford has done previously - It is a blatant ripoff of them and yes, Ford should do legal action against the LTSA...

Comment by Benjip, on 17-Sep-2007 14:54

Also, surely the roof of the Ford would not crumple that easily after one roll? I know that it does hit a tree trunk lying on the ground which I'd say would do that to a car's roof, but let's be honest how likely are you to skid off the road into a fallen tree trunk?
Especially with ESC and ABS2… Oh well I guess that's why some of us would never drive a non-German vehicle :D

Comment by VillageArt, on 17-Sep-2007 16:28

Don't the police drive souped up fords? lol i think that ad is directed at dangerous police drivers..............

Comment by Sam, on 17-Sep-2007 16:37

Who's to say that all 15 - 24 year olds are "teenage boy racers driving crappy souped up cars" I would say only a small fraction of drivers aged 15 - 24 that drive cars could be considered by your standards as "boy racers" (a term which I personally find somewhat offensive in the first place). Lets assume that half of drivers are female and half are male. That gives 124 road fatalities as at monday the 17th September 2007. Therefor we are looking at roughly 62 male drivers, certainly not all of whom could possibly be considered "boy racers" id put the figure, depending on location, but most likely a nation wide average of 5 - 10% (at the most extreme, probably more like 1 - 2% but lets say 10% for fun). Thats 6 "boy racers" dead from 124 fatalities, 12 if u want to include females although how rediculous is calling a female a "boy racer" anyhow, thats 6 or 12 deaths out of 386 that you can possibly attribute to "boy racers". 1 or 2 percent? You my friend, are a victim of the medias negative portrayal towards young car enthusiasts, I could go on and on but I won't. Just look at the facts, and stop being so naive and open your mind up a little bit. Sure there are some stupid young drivers, but there are just as many stupid older drivers and not to mention many of the 70+ drivers, half blind & half deaf that shouldnt be on the road at all.

Comment by lugh, on 17-Sep-2007 17:03

Admittedly, when I first saw the ad (until the end bit), I thought it was a Ford ad. 

However, I do have to say from personal observations in both an urban environment and on the open road, a good number of Holden and Ford drivers in the represented age group (or older) do actually drive like they have mouse parts.  Whether they have more or less accidents than other age groups/genders/car types/insert other is irrelevant to me - it's how safe others feel on the same stretch of road.  Therefore, I can see the applicability of this ad.

(don't hit me Tony - I didn't say all Holden or Ford drivers this time )

Comment by Dan, on 17-Sep-2007 18:57

I never seen "boy racer" on open windy country road but I have been bullied on the side of the road by middle aged men in late models of Holden and Ford that cut corners. This add is so appropriate and until now i never even paid attention to the model of the car. I guess it is true what they say step on cats tail and it will meow.

Comment by rscole86, on 17-Sep-2007 19:32

Maybe the adds are focused at our farmers. With Fonterra projecting bigger and bigger payouts, then every farmer will soon be able to afford a V8 super car of some sort.
And with the price of butter expecting to go up, then they will be able to afford to put the petrol in it too!

Personally I could not care what type of car it was, I do not drive a car, I do not even have my licence!

I am sure we could spend weeks ripping apart the advert, however I think Ford have everyright to complain about similarties if they were not made aware that their car was going to be used in the add.

If however, these adds are part of a series, and different manufacturers cars are used, then I see no reason to jump up and down.

From seeing this add, it does not make me think that their cars are unsafe, I will still get in one, and if I got given one I would keep it!

Comment by Oyajipunk, on 17-Sep-2007 21:48

The ad makes a very good point - don't overstep the line.
No matter what safety devices are fitted to the car, or how 'experienced' the driver is, a lapse in safety measures can mean tragedy.

That is what happened to the 20 year old whose brains were smeared all over the inside of a late model car I saw in Portugal, the one with six airbags, stability control, ABS, super strong body with really efficient crush zones. The car absorbed a huge amount of impact, and so did he - he had no seatbelt on.

LTSA are stupid though. In a country as small as New Zealand it would have been so easy to approach Ford first and come up with camouflaging and oblique camera angles that would help them make their point, with no indication that a Ford was being used. LTSA you bad!

Comment by Oliver, on 18-Sep-2007 00:39

I think the ad could have been done a lot better, but i also think ford is overreacting a tad. Whilst this ad closely mirrors Ford's ads, the recent LTNZ ads show drunken teenagers driving toyota celicas, holden commodore wagons and a number of other vehicles that are instantly identifiable, yet we have had no complaints from these manufacturers. Furthermore, the ad is playing on stereotypes that exist strongly on country roads. Anyone who frequents SH-16 will recognise this kind of driving behaviour. However, and this is my biggest problem. The car has abs, which can't be switched off, and a limited slip diff. This means that in order to lock the wheel through the corner, the handbrake would need to be applied - not a very likely scenario.

Comment by Trev, on 18-Sep-2007 10:08

Glad to see the LTSA know their cars and chose a lowly Ford mutton dressed up as lamb sports car. My VY SS would of taken that corner easily at that speed! ;)

Comment by rphenix, on 18-Sep-2007 12:19

Ford shouldnt be such delicate flowers and get over it, car badge removed so who cares they have to use something and I dont think a middle aged guy like that is going to be driving an old escort ey?

Comment by Cam, on 18-Sep-2007 18:28

I didn't know it was a Ford, I thought it was a Holden! I guess everyone will know its a Ford now ;-)

Comment by Fulggy, on 19-Sep-2007 01:34

Well I don't see why ford shouldn't be upset. But at the same time I don't see anything wrong with if LTNZ wants to mimic an ad for a late model sports car for a larger effect neither (which, looking in the news and posts like this shows they are actually quite successful).

Comment by dan the person, on 19-Sep-2007 18:23

Why don't the LTSA import a late model Dodge that no one will recognise in new zealand?

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Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

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