About a month ago, I was contacted by Sarah at Ogilvy on behalf of Ford offering up a new Ford Flex for a test drive. She mentioned I could take it on a trip or use it for tooling around town and that it was "more stylish than a minivan." J. and I had already been toying with an Easter trip to visit my brother in Southern Oregon and the Ford Flex would make traveling the 400 miles much more comfortable and would save us from renting a car as we normally do because one of our cars is almost 20 years old and the other is Mini Cooper.
Let me say first, that between J. and I, we've owned three Fords. We are very familiar with the brand and the consumer experience. We both view Ford positively and were impressed that the automaker has yet to take any bailout funds despite hurting as badly as Chrysler and GM. I also wanted to add that I have written about my own confused feelings about the auto bailout for MOMocrats.
I have been following Ford's social media marketing efforts (quite literally) by following their head of social media, Scott Monty, on Twitter. I've also been tapped to participate in several auto-related programs as part of these brands' efforts to reach out to bloggers, moms especially. These programs included a Saturn Vue Hybrid test-drive, an afternoon spent testing Michelin tires on a closed course, and an offer to test-drive the VW Routan minivan which never came to fruition, not sure why.
So back to my review of the Ford Flex. There is one thing I need to get out of the way right off the bat: I am not in love with the exterior styling. I have never been a fan of a boxy profile, and the Flex is very boxy. It's also muscular so without trying to be totally sexist (and failing), I feel like the styling appeals to men more than women. This kind of leaves me a little flummoxed about just who the target audience is.