DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. will begin airing TV commercials for the redesigned Explorer this weekend that play off the vehicle's name, calling it "the greatest exploration vehicle of all time."
The commercials for the 2020 Explorer feature voice-overs from actor Bryan Cranston, extending his role from the automaker's "Built Ford Proud" campaign. They're scheduled to air during Saturday's college football broadcasts and Sunday's slate of NFL games.
The campaign, from Weiden + Kennedy New York, also features print, radio and social media ads as well as commercials in movie theaters, starting Friday.
In one spot, an astronaut returns to Earth, drives an Explorer to pick up his kids from school and takes them to a shoe store and a grocery store. Another highlights the Explorer's terrain-management system as a marine biologist returns home from a job site so she can take her family to get frozen yogurt.
The sixth-generation Explorer, which went on sale this the summer, seats seven people and returns to a more rugged rear-wheel-drive architecture. The Explorer is the best-selling utility vehicle in history, which Cranston alludes to in the astronaut commercial.
It's "the SUV you think of when you think of an SUV," he says.
U.S. sales of the Explorer fell 21 percent to 101,823 vehicles during the first half of the year.