Ford Ranger celebrates the joy of mud

The campaign from Ford and AMV BBDO challenges category conventions by encouraging audiences to ‘Go Break It In’

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


There are no squeaky clean wheels or long winding roads to be found in Ford’s latest campaign launching the new Ford Ranger. Instead, Ford is choosing to showcase its new Ranger pickup truck covered in mud, telling audiences to ‘Go Break It In’.

The Pan-European campaign has been created in partnership with AMV BBDO to mark the launch of the Ford Ranger, the latest version of Europe’s best-selling pickup for eight consecutive years.

‘Go Break It In’ is unlike most car ads as instead of showing the vehicle in its shiny new state, the spot encourages audiences to make use of the pickup’s full potential, unafraid to get it a little bit dirty. 

The creative shows the Ranger on a journey to be broken and audiences are shown a rugged-looking man spending the first few days with his new pickup truck working with it, deliberately punishing it and dirtying it. Whilst putting the truck through its paces the creative showcases some of the new features of the vehicle. The work directly challenges usual automotive category conventions by rejecting the usual beauty shots of gleaming vehicles. 

The film was directed by Marcus Söderlund at Academy Films and shot on location in Slovenia. Alongside the film the campaign is made up of print and digital out-of-home feature images shot by photographer Sebastien Staub. The work will run in over 20 markets over the next 12 months.

Challenging the status quo

"Our audience are the opposite of posers. They love Ranger for being tough and hard-wearing, like a battered pair of jeans. Ford were fully on board with us and the director Marcus Söderlund launching their brand-new model by scratching it, scraping it and generally giving it a real beating.” said AMV BBDO creatives David Westland and Jeremy Tribe.

While the spot rejects the usual conventions of the automotive genre, it does so whilst keeping the audience firmly in mind. The creative builds upon the insight that drivers of the Ford Ranger spend a lot of time with their vehicle and use it to its full potential rather than as a trophy car. This insight also enables the campaign to resonate across several European markets where Ford drivers share this commonality.

“Ranger is an iconic vehicle within the European pickup landscape, with a loyal customer base who value what the product brings to both their work and personal lives.” explained Richard Beard, Marketing and Communications Manager at Ford Pro. “This campaign shows a brief glimpse of just some of the arduous tasks that owners might subject their Rangers to and the inevitable bond that builds between the customer and their vehicle.”
By building the creative based on insight, the creative is able to stand out in the crowd of automotive ads but is not disruption for disruption's sake.