The First Ford Mustang Commercial, April 1964

1965 Mustang goldEven before the Mustang was officially introduced on April 17, 1964, Ford was flooding the airwaves with a wall-to-wall media campaign. See the strategy unfold in the original 1964 television commercial. 



With the marketing campaign for the 1965 Mustang, the Ford Motor Company certainly wasn’t the first automaker to sell the sizzle instead of the steak. Ned Jordan, for one, employed the strategy with great style on the Jordan Playboy way back in 1923. And with the initial campaign for the Mustang, Ford also set the product to one side and instead pitched the thoughts and emotions associated with the car—the idea of Mustang ownership. Did it work? The sporty four-seater, really no more than a repackaged and restyled Falcon sedan, sold 418,000 units in its first calendar year, one of the most successful product rollouts in Motor City history.

In this commercial, aired repeatedly on national television in the days leading up to the official introduction at the New York World’s Fair, we barely get a clear view of the Mustang’s exterior. There’s no mention of available powerplants or mechanical features, only some rapid-fire closeups of the car’s interior and trim, coupled to images of attractive young people swimming and sailing. Less than a product demo but far more than a tease, the spot helped to fill the Ford dealer showrooms for the official launch on April 17. Video below.



7 thoughts on “The First Ford Mustang Commercial, April 1964

  1. Not sure how many women visit this site, but the Mustang was groundbreaking in appealing to women. With their ( somewhat) risky ads, “Six and the single girl” ( an ad we never saw in ultra conservative Mid-west) and “Sweetheart of the supermarket”, showed even women, especially single women, can have fun too. I’m sure many a wealthy daddy bought their little sweetheart a Mustang back then. I know I would have. ( fortune pending, of course) I don’t think we’ll ever see the likes of a car like that ever again.

    • You are correct. My girl’s father bought her a dark blue coupe. He let me drive it before he gave it to her. 30 years later she tells me that she was mad at me for driving her car first.

  2. The Mustang was certainly a runaway for Ford. An instant hit with everybody (except my Dad). My sister’s 4th Grade teacher bought one, the first Mustang sold by our local dealer. It was that light red/dark orange color and it had the Hi-Performance 289. I guess even school marms can go through a mid-life crisis…

    • Ha Ha, when I was in 8th grade the new 3rd grade teacher wore short shorts, halter tops and drove a ’57 Chevy convertible. Scandalous!

      • Hi Bruce. Sounds scandalous all right. You wouldn’t have wanted to see my sister’s 4th Grade teacher in something like that. Just seeing an old spinster driving a high performance Mustang was enough to force a normal person to sign up for counselling.

  3. I remember it very well. The hype was high, as were the expectations. I was news editor of the local paper and the Ford dealer was right next door a few blocks from the heart of downtown. That day, we checked in the window and there was a new six-cylinder model in that light beige sitting alone in the showroom. It was so, so far different from the other stuff out there.

  4. One doubts there will never be another car release like it. And a car that still looks good now.
    A Falcon though it is not, many interchangeable parts but the body shell is like no Falcon. Similar in design maybe the Falcon body is higher and the weight distibution way different.
    Compare an early Falcon coupe with a Mustang, entirely different stance.
    What has always amazed me though is that everything for the 6 cyl car is different, using lighter and cheaper engine trans and diff yes but different suspension too?
    A big job to convert a 6 to an 8 as many have found out the hard way.
    Our Aussie Falcons from 66 on used exactly the same bits 6 or 8. Except for the bolt in bits.

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