Ford Transit Connect Stars In New ‘Valentine’s Day’ Movie
* The Ford Transit Connect hits the silver screen in the New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. Pictures film “Valentine’s Day,” featuring an all-star cast, which opens in theaters nationwide Feb. 12
* The Transit Connect is seen in the film as the vehicle used to deliver flowers on one of the busiest days of the year for any florist, Valentine’s Day
* Florists throughout the U.S. are replacing larger cargo vans with the versatile Transit Connect, which offers better fuel economy, greater maneuverability and added height in the cargo area
DEARBORN, Mich. – The Ford Transit Connect hits the silver screen with an all-star ensemble cast in the New Line Cinema film, “Valentine’s Day,” which opens in theaters nationwide today.
The film follows the intertwining storylines of a diverse group of Los Angelinos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day. One of the main characters is a florist who uses the Transit Connect to deliver flowers on love’s most celebrated holiday.
“The delivery of flowers is one of the threads that ties all of the characters in the movie together,” said Brian Daly, senior vice president, Team Detroit, who is a member of Ford Global Brand Entertainment (FGBE). “This film is heavily character-driven, so this is one of the few opportunities for a vehicle in the film to be showcased.”
Ford Transit Connect: A perfect fit for the part
In his role with FGBE, Daly routinely reviews movie scripts in development. After reading the script for “Valentine’s Day,” he says he knew immediately that Ford’s new compact van would be an ideal fit for the part.
“We knew that the character of the florist was going to be a passionate entrepreneur, and since the Transit Connect is smaller than the typical cargo van, it conveys that ‘small business’ message to the viewer,” said Daly. “We took it over to Warner Bros., and the production crew fell in love with it.”
The Transit Connect featured in the movie is painted powder-puff pink and sports decals for the fictitious L.A. florist Siena Bouquet. Daly says as product placements go, this one is pretty prestigious.
“Everyone in the cast is A-level, which made the film a unique opportunity for Ford to be involved in.”
The FGBE team is known throughout the industry for successful product placements in movies and television programs. In 2009, the team was recognized by Brandchannel as a Brandcameo Award Runner-Up for Overall Product Placement.
“This is where the excitement is,” said Daly. “To use the power of film to leverage our brands is very satisfying. It gives a different dimension to the brand when it’s aligned with the right story and the right character.”
In addition to the placement of the Transit Connect in “Valentine’s Day,” Ford Warriors in Pink is teaming up with the celebrity cast of the movie to help raise awareness for breast cancer. To learn more, please visit www.fordcares.com/valentinesdaymovie.
U.S. florists attracted to versatility of Ford Transit Connect
Across the country, florists – just like the one featured in “Valentine’s Day” – are using the Transit Connect to get the job done.
Jim Farquhar, owner of Grosse Pointe Florist in Grosse Pointe, Mich., is a third-generation florist. He’s spent a lifetime navigating floral delivery trucks through his community’s maze of winding cul-de-sacs and narrow driveways. The recent economic downturn coupled with the rising cost of gas prompted him to replace one of his larger cargo vans with the new Transit Connect.
“It’s a great truck,” he said. “I can zip in and out of tight spaces easily, and the mileage is great. The amount of money I’m saving on gas compared to the larger cargo van is making my payment on the Transit Connect.”
Like Farquhar, Dennis Sparr, owner of Sparr’s Floral in Plymouth, Mich., also was looking for a more economical vehicle.
“I’m trying to cut my operating costs, and the Transit Connect fit the bill,” he said. “Everything Ford said about it is more than true. They said it would get 22 miles per gallon in the city, and we’ve been getting 23.”
Sparr says the Transit Connect is easier to drive because it handles more like a car than a truck. “One of the things that really impressed me is the way it holds the road so nicely,” he said. “Other trucks sway when they get a little weight or wind. Not this truck.”
Farquhar says the vehicle’s dual side doors make flower delivery a breeze.
“Most of the homes in our area have driveways on the right-hand side, so the drivers used to have to walk around to the passenger side of the truck, unload the flowers and then go back around to make the delivery,” he explained. “The Transit Connect has doors on both sides of the cargo area, so it saves a lot of time.”
And because it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the Transit Connect makes winter floral deliveries much safer, says Farquhar.
“There is much less slipping and sliding in the snow,” he said.
Snow is not an issue for florists on the West Coast, but heat can be a concern for delicate floral arrangements in the summertime, says LuAnn Schwab, owner of Blooms & Bears Florist in Irvine, Calif. So she ordered the versatile Transit Connect without side windows.
“It works very well,” she said. “The front window is huge and the mirrors are great. That really compensates for the lack of side windows.”
But it’s the amount of space in the cargo area – especially the extra height – that really makes life easier, says Schwab.
“We do a lot of tall arrangements for our corporate accounts, and in the past we would have to tip the flowers a little bit before we could put them in,” she said. “With the Transit Connect, there’s enough headroom so the driver doesn’t have any problems.”
All three florists say they’ve never had a delivery vehicle that garnered so much attention.
“We drove it for a short while before we had our signage put on it, and our driver said everyone would stop him and comment on it,” said Schwab. “It’s like a traveling billboard for us.”
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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 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
About “Valentine’s Day”
Directed by veteran filmmaker Garry Marshall, “Valentine’s Day” stars Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift. Marshall directed “Valentine’s Day” from a screenplay by Katherine Fugate, story by Fugate and Abby Kohn & Marc Silverstein. The film is produced by Mike Karz and Wayne Rice, with Toby Emmerich, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco, Diana Pokorny and Josie Rosen serving as executive producers. New Line Cinema presents, a Wayne Rice/Karz Entertainment Production, a Garry Marshall Film, “Valentine’s Day,” to be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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