Ford gets literal about branding

When in cow country, why not make like a cowboy with a great big branding iron?

Saying it was inspired by ‘the true Edmonton spirit of ‘go big or go home,’ the Ford Motor Company of Canada ‘stamped’ a giant 3D branding iron on the side of its building in the Alberta capital on Friday.

The eye-catching billboard – which promotes the Ford F-Series Super Duty pick-up – is 44 metres wide and eight metres high. The branding iron image on it is made of lightweight Fiberglas coated with translucent glowing paint, as well as 3,000 LED lights to suggest heat.

To complete the illusion of a branding iron in action, Edmonton-based Titan Worldwide – which constructed and mounted the structure – added ‘smoke’ (actually an environmentally friendly water-based, non-allergenic substance), which will puff out three times a day. The 3D Ford logo itself is almost two metres high and four metres wide and is also illuminated with LED lights. The innovative display will remain in place until December 2007, and estimated daily exposure is 58,900 pairs of eyeballs.

The giant branding iron concept was created by Ford’s AOR, Toronto-based Young & Rubicam, which did the creative. Media Edge:cia handled this buy, as well as other aspects of the launch of the 2008 Ford F-Series Super Duty pick-up in Canada, which has been rolling out since March. As well as advertising, the initiative encompasses other striking structures such as overpass billboards and Canada’s largest outdoor mural, both in Calgary.