Ford Motor Co. knows that challenging the current king of the hybrid world, the Toyota Prius, needs a stand-out marketing and advertising effort. That is why it wanted to portray its contender, the Ford C-Max Hybrid as the better hybrid vehicle than the Toyota Prius. However, it would be harder to convince less-serious hybrid enthusiasts to shift allegiances from the Prius to the C-Max Hybrid if it employs thought-provoking comparison ads.
This setting has led Ford and its Team Detroit ad agency to create playful ads designed to persuade buyers that the C-Max Hybrid is much better than the Prius. So Ford revived a 1970s Italian animated children's series called "La Linea." The La Linea ads feature white-line silhouettes of the C-Max and Prius against a blue background along with the nameless and speechless La Linea character.
The amusing television ads, which made its debut in CNN, shows the C-Max silhouette speeding past the Prius V while a voice says: "C-Max has lots more horsepower than the Prius V, a hybrid that C-Max also bests in mpg."
Ford’s marketing campaign also made use of late-night comedy in three online videos dubbed "The Hybrid Games," which have the C-Max vs. the Prius in a number of sporting contests like "the Semi Pass," "the Freeway On-Ramp," and "the MPG Challenge."
Also starring are two very nerdy faux sports announcers named Bob and Roger. Roger is a mellow person who says it is Ok to chill when he gets stuck behind a semi truck on the road. In contrast, Bob gets angry when in a similar situation.