Ford: Raised by Goats
TV Commercial Review
Heart or Humor
The new Ford advert creates a mythical origin story of the vehicle featuring live goats and horses, and details how it developed its impressive off-road capability.
The story goes that a herd of goats came upon a colt in the mountains trapped under a rock. They rescue him, then raise him as their own, teaching him to navigate the craggy terrain and rough waters of the region. Sturdy, confident and now immensely capable, the horse transforms – into the adventure-ready, all-new Ford Bronco Sport.
That’s the crux of “Raised by Goats,” the first of three campaign spots produced by Wieden+Kennedy New York for Ford to celebrate the launch of its all-new Ford Bronco Sport, specifically highlighting its G.O.A.T. Modes equipped with up to seven terrain management modes helping drivers “go over any type of terrain.”
All three spots are under the umbrella of the “Built Wild” campaign platform, with the first two focusing on the extreme capability and power of the Bronco Sport. All models feature an independent front and rear suspension engineered and performance-tested in demanding environments across North America. The suspension, complemented by the terrain management technologies, is optimized to help drivers confidently maintain vehicle composure while aggressively taking on rugged terrain.
The third piece of the campaign, debuting in February, focuses on the versatility and customization options available for the Bronco Sport.
“The Bronco Sport is ready to introduce even more outdoor enthusiasts to the wild,” said Matt VanDyke, director, U.S. marketing. “This campaign kicks off with a fun, mythical story of how the Sport – the Bronco of small SUVs – developed its impressive off-road capability.”
G.O.A.T. was actually the original internal code name for the ’66 Bronco project: Goes Over All Terrain.
Shot in Washington state on Mt. Baker, a legendary volcano in North Cascades National Park, the production came with its own set of challenges – namely, casting and training the proper goats and horses for the piece.
“We decided early on that we wanted to make this true to nature, using real animals in an authentic environment,” said Stuart Jennings, creative director, Wieden+Kennedy New York. “So we were doing a lot of work even before the cameras were rolling, researching breeds of goats, hiring animal trainers, talking through the performances and developing our visual script.”
Extra time was built in to the shoot to consider the needs of the animals, he emphasized. Horses can be trained somewhat easily, but goats are another story.
“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. “We just had to wait sometimes and cheer them on to do their performance.”
In fact, he added, the animal trainers “interviewed” a wide variety of goats, since each has a distinct personality and temperament, choosing ones that would best work for the piece.
“We really wanted to walk the line on this one – the animals are adorable, but the focus is truly on Bronco Sport,” he said. “The idea is this vehicle is built for the wild, it’s rugged and tough, and the ultimate takeaway is Bronco has G.O.A.T. Modes. We allude to that all the way through. It’s not just a knob on the vehicle – it’s a system that can take you nearly anywhere you want to go.”
The 60-second spot was directed by Stacy Wall, who also shot Ford’s Built for America campaign.
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