ford focus
digital launch

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a tall task for a short orange dude

Before launching the revamped Ford Focus, Ford knew they had to correct the nameplate's image problem—left lingering over the brand after a series of recalls. The brief to our digital team was to change consumer perceptions of the vehicle, especially among younger buyers. Furthermore, there was a strategic directive that the campaign forgo traditional media in favor of using digital and social media to engage customers in a two-way conversation.

There was no direct request for a puppet.

tags: copywriting, video, partnerships, digital advertising

meet doug

With assistance from Freaks and Geeks creator Paul Feig, improv comedian Paul F. Tompkins, Ridley Scott & Associates production and some puppet experts, Doug the Ford Focus Spokespuppet was born.

While the larger campaign effort developed dozens of videos for YouTube and Doug bantered with fans from his social accounts, my team focused on integrating Doug's character in with partners and driving larger awareness for the campaign through digital media.

I was the lead copywriter on the executions below, crafting improv outlines and scripts in addition to ad copy.


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As an extension of the larger Doug campaign, my team developed content integrations with partners including Travelocity, Automobile Magazine, and Obviously our brash spokespuppet and the understated Travelocity Gnome were made for each other.

digital media

Doug showed up all over the paid and earned media spectrum. He's a shill for the spotlight, after all.

Ford Focus PuppetFord Focus Puppet

goof gone good

One of the first-ever all-digital campaigns for a major brand was a success that drove a major turnaround for the Ford Focus. At the end, the mercurial Doug took off, never to be heard from again. And some of his fans were actually quite sad.


Executive Creative Director: Toby Barlow
EVP Executive Creative Director: Scott Lange
Group Creative Director: Stuart O'Neil
VP, ACD: Stephanie Kohnen
VP, ACD: James Robinson
VP, ACD: Chris Walton
Senior Copywriter: Adam Burkett
Art Director: Brian Bono
Copywriter: Jonathan Miller
Doug: Paul F. Thompkins
Director (campaign): Paul Feig
Production (campaign): RSA

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