Ford Motor Company is an American multinational corporation and the world's third largest automaker, based on worldwide vehicle sales. Based in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, the automaker was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated in 1903.
In 2004, the company launched the Ford Escape Hybrid, the world's first gas-electric hybrid SUV. In 2006, Ford launched a campaign starring Kermit the Frog to promote the environmentally friendly vehicle. In a spin on the Muppet's catchphrase, he claimed that it was in fact "easy being green."
Big Bird has appeared in two public service announcements/television commercials for the 1998 Ford Windstar minivan. At the end of the commercials, Big Bird stresses the importance of wearing seat belts and placing children in the back seat. Kellogg's helped funding this public service announcement. Matt Vogel performed Big Bird in these commercials to Caroll Spinney's voice.
Kermit the Frog has appeared in several television commercials for the Ford Escape Hybrid. The first starred Kermit as the main (and only) character and premiered on February 5, 2006 during the second quarter of Super Bowl XL.
“Ford and Kermit are a match made in heaven; they’re both American icons, both family-oriented and they’re both green. Kermit the Frog is an absolute celebrity and we’re thrilled to have him on board to tell the Escape Hybrid story.”
—George S. Rogers, Ford President and CEO
A three-minute "making of" video is up on Ford's official site, with Kermit and Steve Whitmire explaining how the commercial was made. The video includes footage of Whitmire and the crew creating the effects for Kermit kayaking and mountain climbing.
The Super Bowl commercial was used to kick off an even bigger ad campaign featuring Kermit. The campaign consisted of television, print, digital, and outdoor advertising. Ford Escape Hybrid ads featuring Kermit appeared throughout 2006 on TV, and print ads appeared in influential automotive-enthusiast magazines, business publications, and newsweeklies.
In May of 2007, he made brief appearances in two new commercials for the Ford Fusion with the cast of American Idol.
In 2007, Kermit appeared in another American Idol commercial, as well as in a banner ad for the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, which shows him hiking through a blossoming landscape. The advertisement claims that the automobile is "Good for the environment. Good for you." with Kermit adding "Good for frogs too!"
Clicking on the banner brings you to the new website for the 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid, which features video footage of Reporter Kermit "on location in the Internet." After the initial video ends, you can tickle Kermit by rolling over him, and if you can resist clicking on anything for long enough, he'll start to gently harass you.
Four more videos of Kermit, including one of him dressed in a Ford lab coat, are embedded deeper in the site, through links accessible from the bottom of the front page.
- In the Sesame Street skit "The Monster's Three Wishes," Cookie Monster asks the Genie for a full-size 1973 Ford F-250 pickup truck to hold one million cookies.
- In The Muppet Show episode 321, Pilgrim Penguins discover "Ford Rock" along with "Plymouth Rock" and "Chevrolet Rock" during "Alabama Bound."
- The Ford Foundation helped fund Sesame Street from its first season until season 26.
- The Muppets drove a 1949 Ford Super De Luxe station wagon in The Muppet Movie.