Ford challenges diverse group of creators to show off what its EV ‘frunks’ can do
The American automaker tapped culinary creators at Ghetto Gastro, tattoo artist Suro Shinn and musicians Imani Lauren and Kaelin Ellis to bring their unique talents to Ford front trunks, or frunks, to showcase the electric power and additional space they supply.
Ford is shaking things up with its latest ad campaign for the electric F-150 Lightning and the Mustang Mach-E / Ford
Made famous by Porsche and Ferrari, the frunk (a portmanteau of “front” and “trunk”) has made its way to countless other vehicles since Kanye West rapped, “Y’all pop the trunk, I pop the hood, Ferrari” in his 2007 single ‘Good Life’.
To promote the spaciousness and versatility of the frunks on its electric F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E models — made possible by the absence of a combustion engine under the hood — Ford today unveiled a playful new campaign.
Created in tandem with Wieden + Kennedy New York, the three-part video series sees a handful of influencers and creators of various persuasions using the frunk in new, imaginative ways. With each episode, Ford aims to speak to a core element of culture: design, food and music.
"[We] started with very human-centered designs in engineering the frunk," says Todd Fairbairn, a US marketing communications manager at Ford Motor Company. "Then, the fun in making the effort come to life was bringing experts from a variety of different cultures and backgrounds into our work for the brand, to make it something that speaks to a lot of different creative communities."
In one episode, the brand challenges Ghetto Gastro, a Bronx, N.Y.-based culinary collective and activist group to create a tailgate-inspired meal from the frunk of an F-150. Ghetto Gastro team members Pierre Serrao and Jon Gray post up with their vehicles and whip up a gourmet meal including spicy grilled prawns and a waffle made with ancient grains and cassava — paired with limonada de coco, a creamy, refreshing Colombian limeade.
Serrao and Gray explain the importance of using locally-sourced ingredients and compare their culinary environmentalism with the eco-friendly Ford F-150 Lightning. “We really want to preserve our home… and not our home just being the Bronx, but our home being the planet,” says Gray. “That’s the lifestyle we’re trying to live. Only put the best in your body — it’s like, you know, when you’re charging up the whip.”
The Wieden + Kennedy New York team says that the core message of the campaign is spotlighting the versatility of the frunk. "Ford created the most popular truck of all time — the F-150. And although it wasn’t the first to create the frunk, it is the first to create one with this much power — like, it can even power a house," says an agency spokesperson. "But we wanted to show people the more practical ways the frunk is actually the bonus space they never knew they needed. And that's a kitchen, a tattoo shop and even a recording studio."
Indeed, in another episode, Ford taps two musicians who have never met — saxophone wunderkind Imani Lauren and funk artist and producer Kaelin Ellis — to create a musical masterpiece using the electrical power of the F-150 Lighting. With two USBs, four 120v sockets and the F-150’s electric power, Lauren and Ellis are able to power their electrical instruments and multi-level speaker system, ultimately putting on a vibey, sax-driven rooftop performance.
The final episode sees Suro Shinn, a Miami, Florida-based tattoo artist with a major Instagram following, use the electric power of the F-150 Lightning — via the frunk’s hookups — to create three unique, Ford-inspired tattoo designs.
In recent years, the automaker has bolstered its electrification efforts — a move likely to help it reach new audiences and potential customers. “What’s in the Frunk”, the new campaign, aims to expand this effort — by tapping into cultural moments in food, music and design in partnership with young creators of color, Ford is making a marked effort to connect with a different kind of consumer than it has in the past (per 2018 data, the average F-150 buyer was 55 years old and three-quarters of all new F-150s were purchased by white men).
"Over the last two years, Ford has really prioritized making EV ownership more relatable for everyone," says Ford's Fairbairn.
The new campaign debuts today across Ford’s digital and social channels. Additional placements will roll out across Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube.