We've already noted the propensity of Ford PR to drop happy releases right after their sad releases, as if somehow the good news will cover for the bad news. Today we got news that Ford is stalling F-150 production and then, minutes later, Ford released this note about Toby Keith's big, bad jingoistic tour:
FORD F-SERIES PRESENTS TOBY KEITH'S 'BIGGEST AND BADDEST' CONCERT TOUR
DEARBORN, Mich., June 20, 2008 - Singer, songwriter and entertainer Toby Keith kicks off his "Biggest and Baddest Tour," presented by Ford F-Series, tonight in Birmingham, Alabama.
"Toby Keith is the Biggest and Baddest star, and the new Ford F-150 is the Biggest and Baddest truck," said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck and SUV Communications Alliance manager, Ford Division. "It's a perfect fit."
Ford Truck's involvement with the "Biggest and Baddest Tour" goes beyond traditional sponsorship. The show opens with a theatrical video produced by Ford that features Keith and the F-Series trucks.
"Toby Keith enjoys doing the videos, and the fans receive them extremely well to the point that they have become an anticipated part of the concert experience," said Eckert, adding that this season's video is tied to Keith's upcoming movie, Beer for My Horses.
The integration continues throughout the concert, with Ford Trucks — and/or parts of them — appearing on stage with Keith. Last year, a Super Duty grille formed the front of a drum riser throughout the entire show. The plan for this year's presence on stage is top secret, suffice it to say that it will be impossible to miss the new 2009 Ford F-150.
In addition to the opening video and a strong presence on stage, Ford Trucks is launching a new consumer promotion at www.biggestandbaddest.com that will award one lucky winner a new 2009 F-150 and the chance to accompany Toby Keith on his next concert tour with his or her own personal tour bus.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that only Ford Trucks and Toby Keith can provide," said Eckert.
More than 160,000 people registered for last year's promotion - a chance to win a private concert with Toby. And according to Eckert, almost 40 percent of those people went on to become handraisers for F-Series.
"We drove significant sales from that experience," he said.
Anyone who registers for this year's contest will have access to special content and free downloads, including Built Ford Tough and Toby Keith ringtones, wallpaper and exclusive photos taken as the "Biggest and Baddest Tour" travels to 60 cities across the country.
The partnership between Ford Trucks and Toby Keith is a virtual match made in heaven, according to Eckert. More than 60 percent of F-Series buyers enjoy country music, and Keith is one of the hottest acts around.
"Toby Keith is a third generation Ford truck man, and he's number one in the country music realm," said Eckert. "Couple that with the fact that F-Series has been the best-selling truck for the last 31 years running, and you've got a very strong partnership."
Ford Trucks has been the presenting sponsor of the Toby Keith Concert Tour since 2002, including the "Big Throwdown" tours in 2004 and 2005, the "Hookin' Up and Hangin' Out" tour in 2006 and last year's "Big Dog Daddy" tour.
Toby Keith remains one of the most successful musical entertainers of his time. With nearly 35 million albums sold, he has been deluged with critical praise and peer approval in the form of awards and he's consistently been one of the top-drawing live performers in the nation. His current hit single, "She's A Hottie," is featured as the only newly produced track on his latest two-disc release, Toby Keith's 35 Biggest Hits, which puts together his smash hits that span his entire career. His second major feature film Beer For My Horses is due in theaters on August 8.
The F-Series, America's best-selling truck line for 31 years running, turns 60 years old this year. Since its debut in 1948, Ford has built more than 33 million F-Series pickups. Today, Ford has more F-Series pickups on the road with 250,000 miles on them than anyone else in the truck business.
May the road go on forever and the Amerigasm never end.