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News of  August 15, 2000


Ford Escape advertising launches with 'My Dream Escape' promotion

Dearborn, MI - How many automotive companies can offer you the opportunity to enhance your culinary skills by working alongside a professional chef, or training with Olympic athletes or getting behind the camera to produce your own documentary? Ford can make your dreams come true through its new "My Dream Escape" promotion. 

Ford Escape

Photo: Ford

Ford announced a unique advertising campaign for it's all-new subcompact SUV - the 2001 Ford Escape. The "My Dream Escape" promotion is a targeted print advertising approach, in which Ford is reaching many specific audiences by partnering with 15 different publications to create unique two-page advertorials. 

The "My Dream Escape" promotion is an extension of Ford's SUV umbrella "No Boundaries - Ford Outfitters" strategy, which was initially launched last fall. "The Escape offers us the chance to extend beyond the traditional outdoor enthusiast context for SUVs and move in a different direction," said Stu Smith, Escape marketing manager. "The 'My Dream Escape' promotion will help people realize their dreams - whatever those dreams may be - with help from some important personal outfitters and publication partners." 

Ford, and its advertising agency J. Walter Thompson USA, asked more than 150 publications to generate proposals for a "My Dream Escape" package. Ford and JWT provided information to each publication on the overall "My Dream Escape" strategy and the mindset of the target customer. Each magazine then submitted a package proposal that would be of interest to their readers and topical to their publication - one that would allow readers to realize their dreams and passions with help from a "personal outfitter." The final 15 magazines selected were based on the strength of their submitted ideas. Each magazine's advertorial is different and is relevant to their readers and to Escape prospects.  

Each "My Dream Escape" package offers one lucky winner the once-in-a-lifetime chance to do something they ordinarily would not have the opportunity to do - like spending a weekend learning cooking tips and secrets from a classically-trained chef (via Food & Wine magazine) or spending time at a select writer's workshop developing their personal writing skills with an experienced author (via Esquire magazine).  

"The idea essentially was to completely involve the magazine in the promotion rather than simply being an outlet for the final creative execution," said Leisa Byars, Ford Division truck communications manager. "The 'My Dream Escape' packages offer people the opportunity to make their dreams come true - whether their dream is to become a professional chef, an Olympic athlete or a documentary film-maker."  

Each publication created an advertorial that would describe their package and drive readers to the "My Dream Escape" website at (housed on where they can register to win one of the 15 "My Dream Escape" packages and/or an all-new 2001 Ford Escape. (Links to are also available through many of the individual publications' websites.) There, readers must submit an essay explaining why they should be selected to win that particular package and what they believe they would personally gain from participating in the promotional adventure. Ford and their media partners will work together to select the winners for each package based on the submitted essays.  

The entire approach of the "My Dream Escape" promotion is another example of innovative marketing from Ford. "The magazines involved in this promotion are true partners, as they developed, wrote, produced and provided layout of each advertorial," said Byars. "The key point is how we are working differently with media to engage and involve our collective customers."  

Designed to introduce and motivate potential consumers to consider the all-new 2001 Ford Escape, the "My Dream Escape" campaign begins in August and is expected to reach more than 51 million people across the country. 

(August 14, 2000)


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