Filling up yesterday on the way back into town I noticed a tagline that says “Ford Recommends BP” on the gas cap of the Fusion that I’m driving for the First 5000 test drive series. Now, I’ve seen this before and never really paid it much attention other than to look up at the gas station’s sign to see if I was at a BP or not. But while pumping gas yesterday I thought to myself “man, I bet BP paid a fortune to have this put on Ford’s gas caps…”
I’m not really sure of the effectiveness, though…as I’ve never opened my fuel door, seen “Ford Recommends BP” and thought “Oh…well there’s a BP right over there, I’d better go over there instead!” If I were BP, I would’ve liked my logo next to the low fuel indicator light!
I did some research (read: I “Googled” it) and only found one website that had an article on it and like mine, was just speculation about the product placement and had no facts about the advertising deal itself. I did find out that BP sponsors the Ford Focus WRC team and there might be some kind of aspect to their contract to allow BP to place a small logo on the gas caps of Ford’s production vehicles…although that seems like a pretty big perk to sponsoring a race car.
Who knows…Maybe there’s some segment of the car buying public who will start thinking Ford is telling them that BP makes the best gas for their car and BP’s product placement will pay off.
This article has recently been brought to my attention. It’s a press release on Ford’s website explaining the gas caps. It seems as if it’s a mutual advertisement agreement.
“The relationship between Ford and BP is a great fit for a number of reasons — common customers worldwide, strong retail networks, and complementary technologies,” said Ford Division President Darryl Hazel. “The fuel cap recommendation allows customers to establish a tangible connection between both companies. We expect to have future promotions between Ford dealerships and BP retail locations that will strengthen that association even further.”
It’s not a one sided deal either as they site recent examples of BP’s endorsement of Ford including a “Win Free Gas for a Year” contest promoting the F-150 in the U.S. and the Focus C-MAX in Europe. Last year, the two companies held a sweepstakes giving customers the chance to win a Ford Escape Hybrid. This summer’s Ford and BP sweepstakes features the Ford Five Hundred.