Ford reengineers its multicultural-advertising program

Ford, the automaker, has successfully retooled its approach to reaching audiences that have not always been the focus of the industry’s marketing efforts.

Just a year-and-a-half ago, when Rajoielle Register walked into a room of senior Ford Motor Co. managers and explained the direction of the company's efforts to move beyond general-market communications, the response often was, "I don't get that."

At the time, Ford divided its diversity-focused advertising into two programs: African-American and Hispanic. Register, as Multicultural Manager, ran the first group "from soup to nuts," with responsibilities seeping from legacy media to social, from