Fresh off a major Super Bowl appearance, the Ford F-Series – America's favorite pickup – is gaining even more attention this weekend with the film premiere of DreamWorks Pictures' "Norbit," starring Eddie Murphy.
The Ford F-250 Super Duty appears as a central figure in the new film by supporting the nerdy Norbit and his three burly brother-in-laws as they use Ford's tough truck at the family business. The movie is yet another example of the Ford F-Series' wide acceptance as the country's defining pickup on and off screen. The attention for F-Series continues next weekend, as Ford supercharges its marketing blitz around the new 2008 F-Series Super Duty at NASCAR's biggest race of the year – the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. "This is a ‘Super February' for the new Ford Super Duty," says Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president of North American Marketing, Sales and Service. "The new F-Series Super Duty is our most capable and refined pickup ever, and its presence at the movies, at the races and on the street are fitting ways to celebrate 30 years as America's best-selling truck."
Tough Role on the Big Screen The Ford F-250 in "Norbit" is at home at the Latimore Construction Company – a common scene for many everyday Ford trucks. The truck is prominently featured in several scenes, including an extended static shot and a comical action scene toward the end of the movie. Ford's brand entertainment team considered the request to place a Ford truck in "Norbit" carefully before making the deal – to ensure that it supported the Ford Tough heritage. "Typically, you see Ford trucks in action movies," says Myles Romero, director, Ford Global Brand Entertainment. "While ‘Norbit' is a comedy, we enhance the ‘Built Ford Tough' theme by placing the truck with the toughest characters in the movie, Norbit's three hulking brother-in-laws." More background and trailers for the movie are available at http://www.meetnorbit.com.
F-Series at the Daytona 500
Ford fans can take their movie popcorn to the track next Sunday, Feb. 18 to check out the new 2008 F-Series Super Duty's next big appearance at the Daytona 500 – the Super Bowl of NASCAR racing. "Race fans are very loyal truck buyers – the parking lots at NASCAR events are filled with F-Series pickups," says Todd Eckert, Ford Truck marketing manager. "Ford trucks have been a part of NASCAR for decades, and we will continue to build on that strong foundation by heavily emphasizing the new F-Series Super Duty at the Daytona 500 and beyond," Eckert adds. Ford racing fans are invited to attend the "Super Duty Saloon" at one of Daytona's most popular waterfront clubs, the Ocean Deck Restaurant and Beach Club, Feb. 15-17. At the event, fans can enter a live drawing for a chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ford Championship Weekend NASCAR finale in Homestead, Fla., Nov. 16-18. Ford NASCAR drivers will make special appearances to sign autographs and participate in live question-and-answer sessions. The new Super Duty also will be featured in interactive games, offering the chance for fans to win Ford Racing prizes and giveaways. In addition, the Ford lineup of vehicles will be on display. Before the race on Feb. 13 and 14, race fans can attend the Ford-sponsored "Race and Rock Fest" street festival in downtown Daytona Beach. It feature live music, Ford NASCAR driver appearances, "NASCAR Live" radio show broadcasts and interactive Ford displays. Fans also will see the NASCAR Ford Fusion "Car of Tomorrow," which will begin competing in Nextel Cup races on a limited basis later this season.
The Ford truck racing efforts – including a major presence in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series – are part of Ford's truck strategy to reach out to customers where they live, work and play. The 2008 F-Series Super Duty marketing introduction is focused heavily on truck customers' favorite pastimes, including racing, country music and outdoors activities. Ford research demonstrates tremendous loyalty among the growing NASCAR fan base of 75 million people worldwide. Two-thirds of Ford Truck owners are racing fans, and 60 percent of the owners specifically say they follow NASCAR racing. In general, 72 percent of NASCAR fans are loyal to products they see associated with the race series and their favorite drivers.
The New 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty
The new Super Duty – which represents 40 percent of Ford's annual F-Series volume – features the cleanest and quietest Power Stroke® Diesel engine ever, a new exterior and interior design, as well as such innovations as an industry-first Tailgate StepTM that allows easy access to the pickup bed. "The new Super Duty doesn't just raise the bar for heavy-duty pickups, it changes the game," explains Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Every aspect of the truck is the result of spending a great deal of time listening to our customers. There's no other family of trucks like this." Offered in three cab styles – Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab – and two bed lengths, the new Super Duty features a bold look inside and out and a long list of innovative features not found on other trucks. Among the new features is an integrated Tailgate Step, stowable bed extender and PowerScopeTM power-fold, power-telescoping trailer-tow side mirrors for towing. In addition, Ford's TowCommand System features an integrated trailer brake controller, and the TorqShift transmission enhances towing performance. The 6.4-liter diesel utilizes Ford's Clean Diesel TechnologyTM, which includes a high-pressure, common-rail fuel system, piezo-electric fuel injectors and an advanced diesel particulate filter system. The new diesel delivers emission levels similar to a gasoline engine yet still pumps out 350 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Also available are two gasoline engines: the 362-horsepower 6.8-liter V-10 TritonTM, the segment's most powerful gasoline engine, and the 5.4-liter, 3-valve V-8.
Also new for 2008 is an F-450 model that combines the right axle, right powertrain and right suspension to manage the task of pulling the heaviest loads – while maintaining a refined, comfortable ride. The new F-450 offers industry-leading towing capacity in excess of 24,000 pounds and maximum payload of more than 6,000 pounds. The new Super Duty is already receiving accolades, taking top honors as the 2006 "Texas Truck of the Year" awarded by the Texas Auto Writers Association. The base prices (including destination and delivery) for the 2008 F-250 Super Duty range from $23,305 for a Regular Cab XL 4x2 model to $38,425 for a top of the line F-250 Crew Cab Lariat 4x4. The same configurations for the 2007 model year were priced at $23,455 and $38,670, respectively.