Among gearheads, the Bronco is well-known and loved for many things, and has been an offroad icon since those first boxy ones came trundling out of the factory in 1965. To the far greater mass of humanity, though, perhaps the greatest cultural moment that highlighted a Bronco was when OJ Simpson, accused of those famous murders, led police on a well-televised, low-speed chase from the passenger’s seat of his friend’s white Bronco. That’s why it’s either so amazing or idiotic that Ford decided to make the Bronco’s release date OJ Simpson’s birthday.
Ford announced the date on an Instagram post, where they told the world that on July 9, “The Wild Returns,” presumably referring to the Bronco, since that’s the logo in the picture.
We’ve known that the new Bronco was set for a July launch for a while, but this is the first time we know the exact date. And that brings up the question of What Is Ford Thinking?
Is this done with full awareness, and, if so, is it a brilliant move? I mean, we are writing posts about this date, and perhaps we wouldn’t have?
No, we would have. This is a huge launch for Ford, and I’m sure we’d have covered the date no matter what. But now we’re covering it mixed in with references to what could be one of the Bronco’s most infamous moments, one that doesn’t showcase what the vehicle was capable of, but rather makes it an icon of one of the most publicized and controversial murder cases in recent memory. Did they want that?
I would think they had to be aware, right? Ford must have PR people who’s job it is to research dates for launches so they don’t accidentally do a huge launch on grim remembrance holidays or anniversaries of massacres or anything like that, right?
Someone must have Googled July 9th. Someone must have seen it was OJ Simpson’s birthday. Some conversation must have happened, and someone must have decided that this was not just okay, but a plus.
I’m really not sure what to think. I honestly have lost all ability to evaluate what is or isn’t a good idea for marketing shit like this. Maybe Ford’s brilliant? Maybe they’re fools?
To figure this out, we reached out to Ford to just, you know, ask. Here’s what they said:
“It’s purely coincidental.”
Okay. That answer also seems to indicate they don’t care it’s on OJ’s birthday, or they don’t see the significance, so, there’s that, too.
It really shouldn’t matter much if the Bronco turns out as good as everyone hopes. As long as they don’t try to recreate the chase with a white one. That actually does seem like a terrible idea.