Even 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.