Hill & Knowlton, Makerhouse and VMLY&R: Ford’s Very Gay Raptor

Photograph of Ford's rainbow printed vehicle

Hill & Knowlton, Makerhouse and VMLY&R: Ford’s Very Gay Raptor

Redefining tough to drive out discrimination

In summer 2021, Ford Europe celebrated the 25th anniversary of Ford Pride, its LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group. At the same time, Ford launched its new Ranger Raptor utility truck. So when a homophobic comment from a Ford fan describing its latest ‘badass truck’ as ‘very gay’ was spotted on Ford’s YouTube channel, Ford couldn’t let it go unchecked.

Instead of recommending a ‘typical’ brand response, Ford, in consultation with Ford Pride members and WPP, decided not only to call out the comment, but to use it as a way to show its support to its LGBTQIA+ employees and customers – by re-editing the online film to give the Ranger Raptor a new digital rainbow paint job, and reposting it across Ford’s channels. “Very Gay was a compliment, right?”

The response was phenomenal but mixed - with some threatening to boycott the brand but others calling for Ford to make the Very Gay Raptor real. Ford created a one-of-a-kind Very Gay Raptor to act as a symbol of LGBTQIA+ allyship, a core pillar of its company values, which was proudly unveiled at the Christopher Street Day Pride parade in Cologne.

#VeryGayRaptor became Ford Europe’s most successful organic social media post ever and ignited a mission to redefine tough and drive out discrimination.

The campaign received 10.6m social media impressions and a media reach of 96m.