I conducted what turned into a bit of a social experiment the other day, using “Twitter”, which is a means of giving those who don’t deserve an opinion a means to broadcast obnoxious viewpoints far and wide.
With the world gripped by Mustang fever and people clamouring to praise or condemn the idea of Ford harnessing the power of the Original Ponycar’s name to ease the blue oval into the electric SUV market, I thought I’d see what might happen if I illustrated the brand being stretched to breaking point. So, I took a Ford press pic of a Mustang Mach-e and another of a Ford Transit, and mashed them together on Photoshop in a fairly crude way. I then shared it with the world, along with this:
“I’m all for Mustang being a standalone brand if it means we can have that Mustang Transit we’ve all been waiting for”
My initial inspiration to create this image was one of protest. A kind of “yeah, might as well slap your brand on anything” deal. I certainly didn’t expect it to be given a rapturous reception on its own merit. Comments ranged from “Why do I not hate that?”, through “The actual Mach-e moved the Overton window so far that this looks plausible and even good!”, to “I’d buy the heck out of this.” Right now it’s riding on over 300 “likes”. Usually, my Tweets struggle for more that a shrug of the world’s collective shoulders.
So, what has this proven? Well, I’m not really sure. I think it says that, while not infinitely elastic, the Mustang brand has the exciting potential to enliven a whole range of products, providing they have a driver-centric appeal. I think it demonstrates that many of those who are really bothered about the Mustang name being “squandered” are probably being more than a little stuffy – I certainly was. Perhaps Mach-e should be seen not as threatening a legend, but reincarnating a dinosaur.
What’s definitely encouraging, though, is the sheer extent to which people are affected by the Mustang brand. It was generally accepted among those who responded to the Tweet that a Mustang Van would be awesome. It follows, then, that a Mustang anything would be awesome. On the basis that Mustang is pretty much the strongest brand name that Ford has ever carried in its portfolio, this has to be fantastic news for Dearborn as far as marketing is concerned.
So, no, the Mach-e isn’t a Mustang as we know it, but perhaps Mustang is just a state of mind.
Mustang/Transit mashup copyright @RoadworkUK / Hooniverse 2019.