Ford is skipping Super Bowl ads this year, but still wanted to make a commercial worthy of the big game

Ford Bronco Sport “Raised by Goats” ad.
Ford

Ford is introducing its new Bronco Sport vehicle with an ad campaign to show off its goats — and not just the furry kind. 

The “Built Wild” ads will start rolling out this weekend during the NFL playoffs and will kick off with the 60-second “Raised by Goats” spot, which tells the mythical origin story of the vehicle and features live goats and horses. The spot will premiere Saturday during the Rams-Seahawks game.

The goats take on double meaning in the spot, referring also to the cars’ “Goes Over Any Type of Terrain” modes. “G.O.A.T.” was also the original code name for the Bronco, which the company resurrected after last producing from 1965 until 1996. The vehicle is Ford’s first direct rival to Jeep since the original Bronco.

Though Ford is not running a commercial during this year’s Super Bowl, executives said they wanted the spot to feel “Super Bowl-worthy” and have the kind of creative message that viewers would want to watch again. The company worked with Wieden + Kennedy New York on the spots.

Another spot featuring the terrain modes will release Monday on “Good Morning America,” while a third will premiere in February. Ford executives said the campaign would have an emphasis on streaming video as well. 

Ford marketers wanted to create a campaign to help the Bronco Sport step outside the shadows of the upcoming Bronco, a more truck-like SUV designed for off-roading that’s scheduled to go on sale this summer. They also wanted to show the features of the vehicle that make it like a “mobile basecamp,” said Stuart Jennings, Wieden+Kennedy New York creative director.  

The last of the spots focuses more on the features of the car, which has a slide-out working table, floodlamps and, depending on the model, built-in power plugs.

“Our customer is someone that lives a bit of a multifaceted life,” said Ford’s U.S. Ford SUV marketing manager Dave Rivers said. “They go to work in the morning and work all day, but at 5 o’clock they’re either hitting the slopes, they’re hitting the trails — they’re enjoying the outdoors.” He said consumers are coming to the brand from Jeep’s Cherokees or Compasses, or Subaru vehicles.

The first spot, shot on Mt. Baker in Washington state, involved casting and “interviewing” goats to find those with the right personality and temperament to fit the spot, the company said. 

“Goats are highly intelligent, but they’re stubborn. Sometimes, they just don’t want to listen. If they want to eat grass, they’ll eat grass,” Jennings said in a statement. “We just had to wait sometimes and cheer them on to do their performance.”

The shoot was also impacted by weather, since they hadn’t been anticipating snow during the production last year. The pandemic added another layer to the tricky production.

“It was a very interesting shoot, to say the least,” Jennings said on a call with media Thursday.

The National Football League will allow CBS, NBC and Fox to sell two additional two minutes of commercials during the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. And with the pandemic impacting the NFL’s scheduling, advertisers who are not yet committed could see last-minute discounts for Super Bowl slots, CNBC reported last month.

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