Ford Motor Co. has called an audible on its New Year’s Day college football marketing in a move to promote mask-wearing. The automaker will dedicate a significant portion of its media buy during Jan. 1 bowl games to a new ad called “Finish Strong,” which promotes mask-wearing and other safety measures, while foreshadowing better days ahead as vaccines distribution ramps up.
The spot is narrated by Ford spokesman Bryan Cranston and was created by filmmaker Peter Berg. It will air during the Citrus Bowl on ABC and the Peach Bowl, Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl on ESPN, as well as during Fox NFL games on Jan. 3. Ford had originally intended to use its airtime during the high-profile sporting events to plug vehicles, including its top-selling F-150 pickup truck. But the automaker opted to use half of its buys for “Finish Strong.”
“We’re in this together and Ford’s goal since the pandemic started has been to try to help save lives,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president for the Americas, said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”