Ted Powell says he needs a vacation. The-52-year-old English-born Powell, senior partner and international creative director for J. Walter Thompson, is the prime mover behind the new $15 million corporate campaign, which shows customers around the globe - from Rome to Buenos Aires to China's Tiananmen Square - either driving or riding in all of Ford Motor Co.'s brands.
Powell came up with the idea two years ago after Ford CEO Jac Nasser told those gathered at JWT's global business meeting to come up with new ideas and not wait for the company to ask for them.
Taking a page from the famous Coca Cola 'I'd like to teach the world to sing' TV ad of the 1970s, Powell wanted to create an ad that would give consumers not only a visual but an emotional connection to Ford Motor Co. products.
During the spot, there are several slice-of-life scenes of people around the globe. There is a shot of a jilted lover tossing letters out a window to her beau; a deaf girl signing goodbye to her friend as she moves away; and a European family saying goodbye to a dying grandmother. A 13-year-old Welsh soprano sings the 'Just Wave Hello' theme song in the ad.
Powell's 30 years of experience on Ford business around the world gave him a unique perspective on creating the global message. 'When you're in that situation, you see Ford Motor Co. from a different perspective - that it isn't the North American company that we all know here,' Powell says
Powell's global anthem TV spot and the 'Just Wave Hello' song have become more than an advertising message. Ford also is using both internally to inspire its employees to think globally.