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Ford Introduces the “Very Gay Raptor” and It’s the Most Awesome Clapback Ever

Opinions, you know what they say about them: everybody has one. These days, because of social media and every other online platform that welcomes conversation and allows for debate, everybody can also voice that opinion.
The "Very Gay Raptor" is not a joke, but Ford's second rainbow-themed vehicle for CSDThe "Very Gay Raptor" is not a joke, but Ford's second rainbow-themed vehicle for CSDThe "Very Gay Raptor" is not a joke, but Ford's second rainbow-themed vehicle for CSDThe "Very Gay Raptor" is not a joke, but Ford's second rainbow-themed vehicle for CSD
This isn’t about politics, LGBTQ+ rights, or the right to speak freely online: we’re all here to talk cars, not politics. This is about Ford Germany and the most awesome clapback in recent months, which comes in the form of a brand new Ford Raptor Ranger called the “Very Gay Raptor.”

You can see it in the photos in the gallery above. True to the name, it’s painted in the Philadelphia rainbow Pride flag colors and also oh-so-proudly wears glittery gold wrap by Alphafoil on the back end. It’s bold, it’s bright, and it’s gay; it’s the official Ford vehicle that will be part of the parade for Christopher Street Day in Cologne, Germany. Christopher Street Day is an LGBTQ+ event all across Europe, and Ford has been a supporter of it since 1998, when the first edition took place in Cologne. For that occasion, Ford created a rainbow-themed Ford Ka to be included in the parade.

The “Very Gay Raptor” is Ford’s second vehicle of the kind, and getting it to look so colorful was no small task. Ford Germany says the Raptor was factory-painted in Performance Blue but then wrapped by Aphafoil over the course of 60 work hours, during which time more than 30 meters (98.5 feet) of film were used. The press release that describes the process and the story behind this vehicle is clear: this is Ford’s way of showing support.

So what exactly is it that makes this special Raptor such a noteworthy clapback? It’s the origin story behind it. In June this year, Ford Germany introduced the same Raptor in Performance Blue and, according to the tweet at the bottom of the page, of all the responses it got, one stuck: someone commented that the car was cool, but the color was “gay” so it needed changing.

That’s the downside of social media and the conversation opportunities it presents: communication is a double-edged sword. Ford could have ignored the message. After all, it was just one guy or gal saying this, and it’s not like they were particularly offensive either. But Ford chose to fight back, and it did so with an animation that poked fun at the request to use “gold” instead of blue, adding the Pride flag and sparkles to the gold color.

This week, with the official introduction of the special Raptor, Ford put the finishing touch to this masterful clapback, by turning the animation into a real vehicle. You could argue that it’s an enormous effort just to prove a point, but if you thought that, you must be new to the way the world works.

Ford’s initiative is an awesome clapback if you’re on the same side of the argument as Ford is: here is a major carmaker showing long-standing and unwavering support for a cause, and doing it in a manner that seems more than just purely demonstrative. Other carmakers try to seem woke or, at the very least, down with social media, but results to their efforts usually range from awkward (here’s looking at you, Voltswagen) to downright embarrassing (BMW’s Ok, boomer moment).

Ford is doing it right, it seems.

More important, for Ford, is the fact that it’s seen an incredible opportunity and grabbed it. Whether you’re on the same side of the fence as Ford or not, you can’t deny that what it has done is deliver a brilliant marketing stroke. It took an isolated, random, negative comment and spun an entire PR campaign around it and, regardless of what you stand for or believe in, it will get a response.

People will hate it or will love it, they will condemn it or applaud Ford for it, but they will be talking about it. In today’s landscape, being talked about means the world, because it can be further monetized. Ford is not just an ally to the cause, it’s also very smart about it. Funny, too.



press release
 
 
 
 
 

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