Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy 50th Birthday to the Mustang

Fifty years ago, Ford celebrated the debut of its sporty, soon-to-be iconic "pony" car with a publicity stunt that's being replicated for the Mustang's 50th birthday: It disassembled a Mustang and reassembled it on top of the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan. This year's limited-edition 2015 Mustang will be on view for one week only.

The Mustang's birthday is being celebrated coast to coast in automotive circles and in pop culture. Lee Iacocca originally championed the Mustang at Ford and the car became an instant hit, far outstripping sales forecasts. It inspired pop songs and car envy among young and old.

It also touched off a wave of pony car introductions and more publicity gimmicks tied to the New York's World's Fair of 1964-5. As recapped in a recent New York Times story, the big car companies used the World's Fair as a launching pad, trying to attract attention and stand out among the pavilions and crowds. 

Now Ford is harnessing the power of social media and word of mouth to give Mustang a big birthday boost, with a virtual birthday card, Facebook posts (nearly 6.5 million likes), Twitter posts (177,000 followers), a blog, and more. Happy birthday, Mustang!

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