Ford Falcon in advertising

In recent years Falcon advertising has been conspicuous by its absence, however it hasn’t always been the case.

We’ve trawled YouTube to bring you ads from every era of local Falcon and it’s a fascinating example of not just how automotive advertising changed, but how Australia itself changed over more than five decades.

One constant is Ford’s love of a jingle, which has usually reflected the popular music trends of the time, and there have been few catchier than the “Have you driven a Ford?” tune in the ad above.

XM

Early Falcons were a disaster, but a huge local development effort meant the 1964 XM was the first that was able to cope with local conditions, our well-spoken presenter keen to point out its “million-pound ride”.

XR

Our first jingle, an Austin Powers-style swingin’ sixties tune overdubbed with a more casual voiceover, but still with plenty of facts to inform the buyer.

XW

Information is out, catchy marketing slogans are in. “Strong construction” and “golden quality” are replaced by “more power” and “exciting Gran Sport options” with a Shirley Bassey-style tune letting everybody know that “Ford, it leads the way”.

XY

This is one Don Draper might’ve thought up. The ad agencies were clearly in charge now with big ideas; how long do you reckon it took to get all those wheels to roll straight?

XA Hardtop

More marketing agency concept rubbish, but who cares when there’s some enthusiastic driving (though did the footage really need to be sped up?) and a cool The Who-style soundtrack.

XB

Some clever point-of-view cinematography, a happy country tune and some light misogyny (“you’ve got an eye for a good figure, even when it’s your wife’s”) was the key to XB sales success.

XC

A rare early example of Ford leveraging its key racing drivers, coinciding with its brief foray back into Australian touring car racing as a factory effort. Nice editing, guys, but we know they’re really cardboard cutouts.

XD

Falcon commercial, or 2001: A Space Odyssey? Ford’s design team switched its inspiration from the US to Europe for the all-new XD and its advertising was equally ambitious.

XE

The Star Wars-esque computer-generated graphics are very cool; the Hannibal-Lecter-talking-into-a-fan voiceover less so. “Hello Clarice.”

EA

The facts-based advertising of the 1960s is now a distant memory, this EA Falcon ad scoring 10/10 for marketing waffle. Did anyone try submerging their EA in water and see if it still worked?

ED

Why is this guy driving his children around a construction site?

EF

We’re back to facts for one of the most successful periods in Falcon history, the EF Falcon leading the new-car market with 81,300 sales in 1995. Not sure about the rampant flower destruction, though.

AU

No marketing waffle here, just a grey nomad extolling the virtues of the Falcon’s new independent rear suspension and firing a shot across Holden’s bows at the same time. Not that Holden was worried, it was cleaning up on the sales charts at the time.

AU III XR8 ute

Before the likes of Harold Scruby got involved, you used to be able to make a cheeky, speed-related car ad in Australia, and this was one of the best.

BA XR8 ute

And here’s the result of Mr Scruby’s interference. No more fast driving or excitement of any kind, but a clever response from Ford.

BA Fairlane G220

The BA Falcon was a huge success and this confidence was reflected in Ford’s advertising. Few could’ve imagined that four years on the Fairlane would be gone forever.

FG

With Australia’s automotive advertising industry wrapped up in cotton wool, we end up with agency-driving efforts like this. 

Ecoboost

One of Ford’s final Falcon ads, this slightly gruesome online-only effort to promote the excellent but largely ignored Ecoboost was controversial by Ford standards but, crucially, got everyone talking. 

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