Ford trolled us big time.
Ford created a social media storm this week when it appeared to tease a mysterious new pickup truck. It all started when Mike Levine, Ford's North America Communications Manager, teased on Twitter that there's "Some super cool truck news coming this week. Will meet a huge unmet need."
This led to some wild speculation that he was alluding to the long-requested Ranger Raptor launching in the US. His response? "All this Ranger speculation about this week's truck news. If you like small trucks you won't be disappointed," he teased. "We don't comment on speculation about future products. We may, however, tease them. Can't believe there haven't been spy photos."
Ford then released a teaser video of its unannounced truck. It had all the hallmarks of a typical new model teaser trailer, showing engineers working on the model, some design sketches, and a shot of the new model under a sheet. What has Ford been cooking up? The final line in the teaser trailer, which was narrated by none other than Bryan Cranston, was a clue: "Coming soon to a keyboard near you." Turns out Ford has been trolling us big time.
The big mystery was revealed to be a new Ford pickup emoji for mobile devices in celebration of World Emoji Day. No, it isn't April Fools Day. Apparently, there has been a lot of demand for a truck emoji. "When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president, automotive. "Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there's no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe."
You can't use Ford's new truck emoji yet, however. Back in 2018, Ford submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium, the organization that reviews and approves proposals for new emojis, to add a truck to emoji keyboards. It's now been short-listed as a possible candidate to be included in a future version of Unicode. If approved in early 2020, the design will be customized for all mobile platforms.
Ford has even gone to great lengths to ensure the concept emoji's styling meets the needs of its customers. "Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers' needs," said Craig Metros, Ford North America design director. "People want a truck emoji that's fresh, stylish, carries their ideas, and 'tows' the line on what a truck means. The end result is a modern icon that should give all truck fans a smiley face emoji."
At least Mike Levine has clearly been having fun with his followers on Twitter. "I hope you don't think that I'm a Troller," he wrote in a tongue-in-cheek Tweet with a photo of Europe's Jeep Troller.