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via AP images. Anonymous/dapd

Ford is hoping to draw the connection between its cars and Tupac Shakur with the launch of an all-new 2013 Ford Fusion Campaign featuring the Tupac’s poem, “The Rose That Grew from Concrete.” The folks at Ford say it symbolizes the “Fusion’s breakthrough in performance, style and innovation – a transformation of consumer expectations of midsize sedans.”

The campaign, called “A Rose,” includes the TV ad below and stars Andre Royo (aka “Bubbles”) from HBO’s The Wire. “The Rose That Grew from Concrete” is recited in voice-over.   

This creative turn by Ford was initiated by UniWorld Group, Ford’s African American advertising agency of record. “The late Tupac Shakur’s poem, ‘The Rose That Grew from Concrete,’ is the perfect description for the way the new Fusion’s design came to be,” explains Shawn Thompson, Ford manager of multicultural marketing, in a press release. “This campaign breaks completely away from anything we’ve done in the past to introduce consumers to a new vehicle utilizing a poem by one of hip hop’s most celebrated artists.This campaign, like the poem, has an inspiring message at its core.”

The car company wants to appeal to the African-American consumer. And no wonder. African Americans purchased 641,090 new vehicles in 2010, accounting for 7.4 percent of all new vehicle sales, found automotive research firm RL Polk. As we reported recently, Muléy cited RL Polk and Yankelovich studies pointing out that black women account for 58 percent of all new cars and trucks purchased by African Americans, compared to 44 percent of women in the general population.

African Americans tend to buy from Toyota while Ford is the black community’s second favorite car company, with 11.7 percent of sales, according to R.L. Polk. Toyota generates 15 percent of sales from blacks.

Thecampaign also includes radio and print ads in addition to a digital component featuring a series of Web videos that will live on And of course, “The Rose” campaign is also featured on the Ford Fusion YouTube channel and Ford Fusion Facebook page.

Would this make you more likely to buy the Ford Fusion? Or do you oppose the use of the poem in a car ad?

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