Affordable Ford Ka shown as a very expensive motor

I find it disturbing that Design Week can’t see through the hype that is the Ford StreetKa/ Julien Macdonald link-up (Changing Gear, DW 26 September).

The Ford Ka is sold as an affordable car. Macdonald comes along and customises it, creating a car that Ford is happy to tell the press is a ‘$1million car’.

This smacks either of pure cynicism on behalf of the Ford marketing department, which believes that a gullible public will go out and spend their money on a non-diamond encrusted, unobtrusive version in the belief that a little bit of Macdonald’s diamond dust will brush their lives. Or, hopefully, it’s crass stupidity, as it misjudges a public who are becoming attuned to cynical marketing stunts.

I know how fashion designers engineer these link-ups. The vast majority of British catwalk labels don’t make much money and to feed their ego-enhancing, twice-yearly catwalk shows they need big sponsorship deals. So they go armed with a bulging press cuttings book, impress a marketing executive who believes that these press cuttings could justify their existence to head office and, Bob’s-yer-uncle, we have another waste of a marketing budget and more insulting of the public.

Is it too much to ask for all designers to start putting their skills towards ideas that genuinely serve us? And wouldn’t Ford have been better spending its marketing millions on making the Ka safer or more affordable or giving the cash to a charity?

Wayne Hemingway


Hemingway Design

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