The Ford Fusion in ‘New Girl’ Was the Worst Product Placement We’ve Ever Seen
We live in a world where it’s easy to skip over ads. As such, viewers have had to live with some degree of commercialization on their favorite TV shows. Product placement is a part of movies and TV for funding and sponsorships. However, some media products do it more organically than others. With the Ford Fusion, the Fox sitcom New Girl had some of the worst product placement we’ve ever seen, promoting the midsize sedan multiple times in very clunky ways throughout its first few seasons.
‘New Girl’ followed a group of adults living together
When New Girl debuted, we were introduced to Jessica Day (Zooey Deschanel), looking for a new place to stay after walking in on her longtime boyfriend cheating on her. She finds an ad on Craigslist and goes to check it out. As it turns out, the ad was made by three men, Nick, Schmidt, and Coach, who were looking for a male roommate.
After much debate (motivated by Schmidt’s realization of Jess’ model friends), the men decided to let Jess move in. They soon realize they may have signed up for more than they bargained for as she constantly cries herself to sleep dealing with the breakup. However, the men and Jess’ friend Cece help her move on from Spencer, and she starts going on other dates. In the first season, Coach abruptly moves to New York, and Winston, whom we’re told was a pro-baller in Latvia, moves back into the apartment.
Throughout the series, New Girl moved away from making Jess the central focus to highlighting every character and developing them into relatable ones. Schmidt and Cece get married after going through ups and downs (having begun as a secret affair). Winston gets over the motivational slump he was in and moves from being a nanny to sportscasting and eventually finds his place in the NYPD, where he also meets his future wife, Ally. Coach leaves his casanova ways behind and gets serious with May, even moving in together. Nick becomes a best-selling author and ends up with Jess.
‘New Girl’ promoted the Ford Fusion in one of the worst ways possible
The Ford Fusion appeared severally in the Fox sitcom’s first few seasons. The first time viewers are introduced to the automaker is when Jess has to stand in for Cece at a modeling job, as she’s suffering from a terrible hangover. She takes over Cece’s modeling duties but quickly learns how complex the job is.
As seen on YouTube, as Jess ascends to the platform to showcase the Ford Fusion, it starts rotating, and her heel digs into it. As the car is advertised to the audience, those around show no interest in what the vehicle has to offer but in the misfortunes of the very awkward Jess, who struggles to be professional but falls on her face.
The infamous Prince episode is the second time New Girl shoved Ford Fusion in its audiences’ faces. The gang went to Prince’s house after Jess and Cece got invited. As seen in a clip on YouTube, while they wait in line in the car, Nick says, “We are never gonna get in. We’re not even in a limo,” to which Coach says, “Excuse me, we’re in a Ford Fusion. The best car ever made,” before going on to explain the car’s features. Although the show tries to throw in some jokes in the scene, it feels awkward and forced.
The Fox sitcom continued with the product placement but in a subtle way
Ford and New Girl continued to promote Ford and other automaker vehicle models, but more subtly than they had done before, possibly after the backlash they received for the blatant product placement. One example is when Nick borrowed Winston’s Ford Escape and highlighted the car’s features without saying a word when he got a ticket for jaywalking. As for the future of the Ford Fusion, Ford recently discontinued production on the midsize sedan after its 2020 model year.