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Ford Launches ICON50 to Celebrate Mustang Influence on Pop Culture, Rekindle Americans’ Sense of Adventure

  • Celebrating the iconic Mustang and its influence on popular culture over the last 50 years, Ford launches ICON50 – a program that will explore how pop culture could evolve as it encourages Americans to rekindle their sense of adventure behind the wheel of the all-new Mustang
  • New survey commissioned by Ford as part of ICON50 finds 42 percent of Americans can’t remember the last time they tried something new, suggesting they may have lost their sense of adventure
  • Timed to the official arrival of the 2015 Mustang across the country, ICON50 will unite the all-new pony car with cultural experts from Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, Zagat, ESPN The Magazine and Mashable to discover the next wave of cultural drivers

NEW YORK, Oct. 1, 2014 – Ford Motor Company celebrates Mustang’s influence on popular culture with the launch of ICON50 – a unique campaign designed to explore culture and inspire Americans to embrace the sense of freedom and adventure new experiences can create.

A new survey, commissioned by Ford as part of ICON50, suggests Americans value adventure more than they demonstrate in real life. When ranking attributes Americans wish to communicate via their digital presence, “I’m adventurous,” at 30 percent, ranks higher than “I’m successful,” at 28 percent, and “I have a lot of friends,” at 24 percent. Yet nearly half of the adults surveyed, 45 percent, feel their social media friends or followers appear more adventurous online than they actually are. These findings indicate that what Americans convey about how adventurousness they are does not equate with their true expressions of adventure.

To celebrate Mustang’s 50th anniversary, Ford assembled a group of cultural experts in music and entertainment, the culinary arts, sports and technology to identify the next wave of cultural drivers and inspiring locales to help encourage a sense of adventure among Americans.

Experts from Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, Zagat, ESPN The Magazine and Mashable will help curate a list of 50 innovators and design a themed driving route in celebration of Mustang’s 50th anniversary. Timed to the official arrival of the all-new 2015 Mustang in dealerships across the country, the program will provide consumers with a cultural road map to encourage them to get behind the wheel and explore. The fifth collaborator will be named next year as the campaign expands with cross-country drives and consumer events.

“For five decades, Mustang has represented some of the best of American popular culture, inspiring a feeling of freedom, independence and adventure,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We are excited to celebrate the iconic Mustang and encourage fans to embrace its spirit of adventure and try new cultural experiences.”

Why adventure matters
There has never been a better time for Americans to test drive new cultural experiences. Additional findings from the ICON50 survey highlight the importance of trying something new, and shed light on what is holding people back. The survey found:

  • For 43 percent of Americans, the “voice in their head” most often says “no” before they try something new
  • The most common excuses for avoiding adventure include lack of money, cited by 49 percent of respondents, followed by fear of failure for 27 percent and embarrassment for 26 percent
  • Women, more than men, admit fear of failure holds them back

“From pop songs to hashtag campaigns, America is having a love affair with ‘happy’ right now,” said Brian Balthazar, TV personality and pop culture expert. “Capturing that emotion can be elusive, and that’s why these findings are so compelling. Embarking upon everyday adventures can enrich our lives and make us feel amazing.”

Why Mustang is a pop culture icon
Early on, Mustang’s unique combination of style, performance and affordability established an entirely new class of sporty car. Its impact goes well beyond the more than 9.2 million cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. Mustang has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and – with close to 8 million likes – is the most-liked vehicle on Facebook.

Now, the most advanced version yet, the 2015 model features an all-new, sophisticated design and a host of innovative new technologies and connectivity systems.

The all-new Ford Mustang goes on sale this fall in the United States, and – for the first time in its history – globally to customers in more than 120 countries next year, including right-hand-drive markets.

For more information on ICON50 and to view the curated lists, please visit http://www.fordmustangicon50map.appspot.com/#.

Editor’s note:The Ford Mustang survey was conducted online by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18-plus, Sept. 10 to Sept. 17, 2014, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.



Anika Salceda-Wycoco     



Marisa Bradley





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