TBT: Model T Marketing Turns to Women

Though company founder Henry Ford was not keen on advertising, Ford resumed print promotion for the Model T late in its nearly 20-year production run. But the company began to target a new group of prospective buyers as it courted women.

Ford designed advertisements that aimed directly at this new audience, touting the vehicle’s affordability and reliability, ease of use, as well as the independence it could bring.

The thinking behind the strategy was that the male-dominated workforce of the 1920s left many wives home with errands that might require driving. The company also believed that women represented a large group of consumers with influence on family car buying.

While some advertisements were aimed at women in the workplace, others were directed toward women in their roles as mothers.

One such advertisement from 1924 positions the Model T as a means for mothers to stay involved in their children’s lives, while also helping women maintain their own schedules. Another ad depicts a woman and her daughter at a market, summoning the “sound commercial sense” of the “business manager of the home.”

Later advertisements also marketed the vehicle as a fashionable item ideal for trend-setters.

Ford would eventually go on to sell 15 million Model Ts before discontinuing the vehicle in 1927.

Model T Advertising for Women

Ford aimed to recruit new customers for the Model T in the mid-1920s with advertising aimed at women.

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