Ferguson hits the road with Ford

Segs revolve around 'Late Late' regulars

Have you laughed at a Ford… lately?

Automaker is hoping viewers will do just that this summer. It’s struck a wide-ranging product integration deal with CBS to sponsor not a show or a segment but a series of sketches that will air on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” throughout the summer.

Dubbed “Matt and Philip Escape from Boredom,” the segs revolve around two “Late Late Show” regulars taking a cross-country road trip in, what else, a brand new 2008 Ford Escape. During their travels, duo will participate in a number of “Jackass”-esque stunts, from bungee jumping to fish throwing.

More than just working in a few glamour shots of a product, the sketch series ties in closely to Ford’s whole launch campaign for the Escape, which is built around the idea that the car is a “cure for boredom.”

It’s not uncommon for companies to attach their names to show segments. Pontiac, for example, sponsors musical perfs on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Ford’s deal with Ferguson goes further by having the show’s content thematically linked to the automaker’s ad agenda. Deal for the integration was brokered by the Eye’s ad sales unit.

CBS has launched a section on its “Late Late Show” website tied to the “Escape From Boredom” series that features videos of Matt and Philip’s adventures — and lots and lots of Ford logos.

The Eye site links to another Web address: BoredomHurts.com, a branded entertainment effort launched by Ford that promotes its 2008 Escape and asks consumers to submit YouTube videos bragging about how dull their lives are in order to win one of the SUVs.

The campaign, from JWT Detroit, revolves around Colin Padden, a fictitious grad student who aims to help combat boredom among the masses.

But instead of linking back to “Late Late Show’s” Matt and Philip, Padden is integrated into the website for a primetime skein — the fading Fox effort “On the Lot.” The “Boredom Hurts” site will showcase seven of the fictional Padden’s own short films, much as “Lot” airs shorts from its aspiring helmers.

The vids will appear on “On the Lot.”

(Marc Graser contributed to this report.)

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