Overview of Massey-Ferguson's 'On the Move' event held in Australia's capital cities in 1958. The event included the launch of the MF 65, product demonstrations, fashion parade and musical and theatre performances.
Over the next few years, Massey-Ferguson embarked on re-branding its products and establishing a strong relationship with Australian farmers. The company's dealers became an important link between the company and Australia's primary producers. The firm emphasised the importance of dealers in promoting Massey-Ferguson products and building farmers' confidence in the new brand.
Massey-Ferguson organised shows and product launches to build and strengthen partnerships with its dealers. 'On the Move' was one of the first of such programs. The day-long event toured Australia's mainland capitals between July and August 1958. It was designed to launch the new 'amazingly versatile' MF 65 tractor and was attended by company executives, dealers and their wives.
The festive launch included breakfast with music and a floor show, an evening banquet featuring cabaret, a fashion parade and a demonstration of the MF 65. A highlight of the event was a two-hour stage show titled 'On the Move' which told the story of Massey-Ferguson's history, the company's new logo and product promotion. The variety show featured a cast of 20 performers, including musical comedy stars Bruce Trent and Shani Wallis. The performance ended with the unveiling of the MF 65 tractor on a rotating platform. The tractor was marketed by the company as 'the most advanced tractor in the world' and the 'big brother to the internationally-famous Ferguson 35 - the world's most copied tractor'.
Company promotion was not restricted to the event itself. Massey-Ferguson took every opportunity to market itself to the broader public. For instance, tractors were showcased in hotels and airport lounges in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney airports. Ansett-ANA passenger buses used to transport guests were adorned with Massey-Ferguson banners reading: 'Massey-Ferguson is 'On the Move' throughout Australia with Ansett-ANA'. In addition, the power of Massey-Ferguson tractors was on full display at Adelaide Airport where an MF 65 was used to tow an aircraft into position, while a Ferguson 35 transported luggage.
'On the Move' was followed by a similar event, the 'Show of Progress' which was staged in Melbourne in February 1960. Like its predecessor, the 'Show of Progress' was aimed at dealers and showcased the company's new products. It also included a variety show, fashion parade and procession of Massey-Ferguson vehicles.
- Massey-Ferguson Review 1958, 'On the Move was a Great Presentation', vol. 2, no. 19, p.5.
- Massey-Ferguson Review (Special 'On the Move' Edition) 1958, 'Massey-Ferguson is 'On the Move' Today', np.
- Massey-Ferguson Review 1960, ''Show of Progress' on Today', 12 Feb 1960, p.1.
- Sunshine Review 1958, 'Our New Company Name is Massey Ferguson (Australia) Limited', vol. 2, no. 16, p.1.