As we get ready to welcome in the new year, Ford is kicking off a new initiative to encourage people to come together, protect each other, and help save lives in the months ahead until COVID-19 vaccines become more widely distributed. It’s doing this via a new Ford ad, dubbed “Finish Strong” which will air tonight during the college football playoffs.
“We’re in this together and Ford’s goal since the pandemic started has been to try to help save lives,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group. “While many are weary from the challenges 2020 has thrown at us, now is the time for us to pull together, protect each other, and finish strong until COVID-19 vaccines arrive more broadly. Lives are on the line.”
The 30-second Ford ad was created by acclaimed filmmaker Peter Berg, known for his work in Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day, and Lone Survivor. The spot is narrated by award-winning actor Bryan Cranston.
Berg and Ford approached the storytelling as an appeal to Americans’ shared sense of patriotism and what’s right – rather than preaching at people or using fear as a motivator. Woven within the video are brief portraits of front-line workers and people affected by COVID, like survivor John Williams, 68, from Kansas City, who beat COVID-19 after 20 days on and off a ventilator. He’s shown leaving the hospital in his wheelchair as doctors and nurses line the halls to cheer him on.
According to Berg, it was critical to show the strength and spirit of the country in troubled times – and to offer inspiration to Americans to stay vigilant about protecting themselves and others.
“The COVID pandemic has tested us all in ways we could not have imagined a year ago,” Berg said. “People are weary, beat down, and it would be easy to let our guard down now. But we have to keep fighting for each other, we’re almost there. As we enter 2021, we wanted to help inspire Americans to come together and save lives until the vaccines arrive in numbers. We need to finish strong. We got this.”
The #FinishStrong Ford ad and initiative is the latest effort by Ford to support those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ford has been a leader in COVID mitigation efforts since April and one of the first manufacturers to pivot toward making personal protective equipment (PPE). To date, Ford has manufactured 55 million masks and will hit 100 million masks for donations by mid-2021.
The company, in partnership with the UAW, has produced tens of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to meet the strong demand. These include 20 million face shields,
50,000 patient ventilators, more than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators, and 1.4 million washable isolation gowns.
In collaboration with the UAW and Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford has also donated more than 50 million face masks to nonprofit organizations, state and local officials, first responders, schools, and underserved communities in all 50 states. The next round of masks, including masks for children, will be available next month in six states across the eastern U.S., from New York to Virginia at local Ford dealers. Details are available at FordFund.org.
“At Ford, serving people is a long-held tradition,” Galhotra said. “We’re proud to earn our customers’ trust, and well always step up when people need us.”