Wieden+Kennedy, Ford’s lead US advertising agency, just added the automaker’s global business to its growing account, ousting BBDO.
Ford confirmed that Wieden+Kennedy is taking over lead global creative and brand strategy work from BBDO, as the automaker attempts to streamline its marketing and bolster brand consistency across the board.
“Ford brand is doing this to streamline its global marketing business under one creative agency to drive brand consistency globally and provide greater operational efficiencies,” the automaker stated. “BBDO, a valued Ford partner, will handle CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) in the U.S. while WPP remains a key part of Ford’s multi-agency team, leading activation. All three agencies will continue to play a key role on our multi-agency team and be expected to elevate our creativity.”
The brand made several drastic changes to its marketing team back in 2018.
That's when Wieden+Kennedy became part of the family, acting as “a creative and innovation partner” to Ford.
In the same year, BBDO took over the global creative account from WPP, which stayed on to handle media planning and buying, as well as multicultural marketing through its agencies Zubi and UniWorld.
From the get-go, Wieden+Kennedy has tackled most of the high-profile US advertising projects for the automaker.
In late 2018, the agency hired Bryan Cranston as a spokesman for the automaker, making its first official moves on the Ford account.
In 2020, Ford made Wieden+Kennedy its lead US agency without fanfare, spurring the agency’s unparalleled growth and culminating in the most recent developments.
The New York agency also helped Ford find its corporate voice, effectively positioning the brand as a major employer of hourly workers that supports more than one million American jobs. They also led advertising of the new F-150 Lightning EV and poked fun at Elon Musk when given the chance.
BBDO hasn’t made any comments yet regarding the loss of the global creative account.
As a brand, Ford doesn’t shy away from breaking the bank when advertising is involved.
The automaker spent $3.1 billion on worldwide advertising in 2021, most of it on media spending in Europe (49.5%) and the US (42.8%).
Having a multi-agency team is quite pricy, especially when industry giants such as Wieden+Kennedy, BBDO and WPP are involved.
It seems like Wieden+Kennedy is finally right where it wanted to be since 2018 when it first joined Ford.
With global Ford business under its belt, the agency is in a position to do great things.