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Kermit Debuts as Ford Spokesfrog for New "Green" Super Bowl Ad Spot

DEARBORN, Mich., January 30, 2006 – Ford Motor Company is giving other automakers a reason to be green with envy. Ford is teaming up with Kermit the Frog, one of America’s most loveable characters, to celebrate the advertising launch of the greenest and most fuel-efficient SUV on the earth, the Escape Hybrid.*

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The 30-second spot, developed by Ford’s advertising agency, JWT Detroit, features Kermit and his encounter with the Escape Hybrid in the great outdoors. Together, the Escape Hybrid and Kermit will become the ultimate "green team," as Ford continues to make a push toward environmentally-friendly vehicles.

"The Ford Escape Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient SUV on the road today, making the ’green’ connection with Kermit a seamless partnership for this campaign," said Cisco Codina, Group Vice President, North America Marketing, Sales and Service. "The Super Bowl spot establishes Ford’s efforts to turn up the volume on it’s innovative products for consumers in an ever-changing market. This ad campaign demonstrates Ford’s increasing emphasis on hybrid technology in our future model lineup."

The Kermit commercial will kick off a broader campaign for the Escape Hybrid, where Kermit will serve as the official spokesfrog. The campaign – which will consist of television, print, digital and outdoor advertising – will showcase Ford’s dedication to technological innovation that reflects today’s realities. The spot will air once, during the second quarter of the 2006 Super Bowl, and will continue to run on highly visibly programming like American Idol, CSI:Miami, and the Barbara Walters Academy Awards Special, throughout the year.

"Ford and Kermit are a match made in heaven; they’re both American icons, both family-oriented and they’re both green," said George S. Rogers, President and CEO, JWT Detroit. "Kermit the Frog is an absolute celebrity and we’re thrilled to have him on board to tell the Escape Hybrid story."

Escape Hybrid was the first full hybrid SUV in the world, and remains the only hybrid in the small SUV segment today. It was named 2005 North American Truck of the Year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit for combining traditional vehicle performance with the efficiency of hybrid technology. As a full hybrid, Escape Hybrid can drive on the gas engine, on the electric battery alone or both at the same time. The system automatically chooses the most efficient power source for any driving situation. When stopped in traffic or driving at low speeds the Escape Hybrid can run on pure electric power. As a result, the Escape Hybrid front-wheel-drive models gets an estimated 36 miles per gallon, and can travel up to 500 miles in city driving on a single tank of gas.

Ford has two full hybrid electric vehicle models on the road today – the Ford Escape Hybrid and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid – and will increase production capacity to 250,000 hybrid vehicles a year globally by the end of the decade.

*Most fuel-efficient SUV on earth based on Automobile Revue, Transport Canada and US EPA. EPA estimated 36 city/31 hwy mpg, FWD. Actual mileage will vary based on driving habit’s.

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.

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