Leave it to Ford Philippines to come up with out of the box ideas to promote their vehicles. Ford PH was the pioneering automotive manufacturer to stage out of town, camping in the wilderness events back in the day. This was during the time of maverick Ford PH president Terry Emerick, and then Ford PH head of marketing Maricar Parco, during the early 2000’s. The usually pampered motoring media were subjected to camping out in the lahar lands of Pampanga with Dave Gutman, Ford PH’s marketing wizard lighting up the campfire, as we enjoyed our pork barbeque and marshmallow on sticks amid stories and friendly camaraderie around the bonfire.
In the morning, we would drive F150s up to the foot of Mt. Pinatubo after crossing raging rivers and driving though soft sand that demanded a bit of driving prowess to get out of a deep rut. Well that was history. Fast forward to 2019 and this writer found himself in the middle of a Tiangge in Taytay, which are clusters of assorted garments, shoes and fashion accessories plus strings of food stalls.
Ford PH took us here for a fashion extravaganza, wherein participants were given P700 each to shop and be creative with their fashion ideas. The theme should jive and promote the Ford EcoSport outdoors lifestyle creed. With fashion blogger David Guison as our guiding light and Ford PH’s marketing man Ej Francisco watching us with eagle eyes, the motoring media were split into teams of two to three. We were then allowed to shop around the Taytay Tiangge for 30 minutes to buy our chosen fashion theme and accessories. This writer was with Team EcoSport 3 with Earl Manalansan of Autocar PH and Kevin Limjoco of C! Magazine. After what seemed like an eternity wearing a sweat-soaked shirt from the humidity, our convoy then proceeded to a nearby mall for a photo shoot. Our team chose to follow the path of Baywatch and donned our beach inspired outfits, amid the surprised and dagger looks of mall goers at the parking lot. The experience might have been traumatic to some, because the mall security started to converge on our location. We had to explain to one security guard that this was a Ford event and all this humiliation was being done in the spirit of fun. Because this was a Ford event, there were no boundaries.
Unfortunately, our beach theme was apparently too extreme for the judges and another team won the Ford EcoSport Fashion Challenge. All was well and good because everybody had a blast. Due to the innovativeness and daring of the event, this would go down in Ford PH’s corporate history was one of their unique events. We are now curious as to what awaits us in the next Ford event. Would crossing a hanging bridge with crocodiles down below be part of the event? As I said earlier, with Ford, there are no boundaries.
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