Ford Oval Rapes Designers

I’ve owned several Ford cars over the years, and never had one that didn’t live up to the Found On Road Dead and Fix Or Repair Daily acronyms that were creatively given to the company.

Well folks, as the title of this post displays, I’ve got another one to use now.

Ford Motor Company is launching the Ford Blue Oval Scholars, “a national Web-based initiative that will provide Ford Motor Company Fund scholarship winners a place to network and share information with each other, learn about internships and jobs, plan and implement community service activities, and access information about careers.”

Cool.

ford-sorid.jpgWhat’s not cool is the little marketing ploy that they’re using to come up with a logo. Ford is looking for amateur and professional designers to create a logo for the company’s new initiative.

And though on the surface this isn’t a bad idea, adding a bit of fun and competition to an otherwise useless site, where it gets a little stupid is when it comes to what you actually win.

Should you end up being the one that surpasses all others and is granted the top spot of the competition, you win $1,700! … in the form of Adobe PhotoShop CS3.

Granted, there are likely a lot of designers out there working on an old version of PhotoShop, and perhaps they’d love the upgrade, but umm, what designer is going to win this competition without using some version of PhotoShop to begin with?

So, you supply a multi-billion dollar company with a new logo that they’re able to exploit in any way they deem fit, and you get an upgrade. Nice.

If you’re lucky enough to come in 2nd or 3rd you get a set amount of cash ($300 and $150 respectively) to spend on design software of your choice, and losers 4 to 10 get online music vouchers.

For this, Ford exploits an army of designers of all different skill sets to provide them with an unlimited number of design mockups that they can choose from. Something that had it not been attached to a “competition” would cost huge sums of money.

My feelings about this would be a lot less harsh if they weren’t boxing the winner into a piece of software they may or may not need, but rather allowing them to choose between the CS3 or cash equivalent. But I could find no where on the site that indicated this was the case, which makes a whole lotta sense.

Adobe throws Ford a box of their latest software, comped for the free exposure it’s going to get with a competition geared right towards Adobe’s current and future clientèle, Ford saves a bunch of cash getting thousands of logo ideas built for them (that all become their property upon submission), and the designers leave with a distinctly sore posterior and a shameful feeling of being used that just won’t go away.

3 thoughts on Ford Oval Rapes Designers

  1. Ugh. I see this kind of thing all too frequently: million/billion dollar company has “content” to come up with some design/logo/slogan/etc. I wonder what self-respecting marketing firm (or department) is advising companies to do this? Perhaps it’s just some “big wig” that knows how to get something for nothing…

    Perhaps they think they will play into some designer’s (most likely amateur or student) want for publicity or recognition or chance to “win” something?

  2. Exactly. I should clarify that I’ve nothing at all against people creating for the sake of creation. I adore open-source and community created projects to no end.

    Where I draw the line is when a company the size of this is looking to exploit that “something for nothing” share and share alike mentality.

    Great site by the way – love the eco-friendliness.

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