It used to be that automakers wanted to talk about the thrill of driving their vehicles and little else. Now though, as they face up to the challenges of climate change emissions, the advent of self-driving cars and ever greater sustainability concerns, automakers are looking to emphasize the larger role they play in society.
That’s the approach of Ford Unlearn. Its message is that car manufacturers don’t just exist to make cars, but are about mobility. As Ford’s 2015-16 Sustainability Report says: “Our strategy has one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow – encompassing our core business as an automaker and new opportunities in mobility.” Or, more succinctly, it’s about “Democratising sustainable ways to move around”.
The launch video for Unlearn shows a drone delivering a parcel, an old man running, and a celebrity who is asked for a selfie on the red carpet - inviting us to “unlearn” postmen, seniors, and autographs. And the ‘manifesto’ video explains it’s about having an eye on the future, making room for improvement, and making something out of nothing.
Ford wants us to unlearn our preconceptions about what the automaker represents and embrace its transition into a mobility company. It’s an uplifting message for the future of sustainability but it will have a lot more traction when its fleet matches its ideals.