Ford Motor Co. is pulling all national ads promoting its vehicles and will replace them with a new campaign describing how it is responding to the coronavirus, including giving Ford Credit customers some payment relief.
The effort includes two new spots, “Built to Lend a Hand” and “Built for Right Now,” from ad agency Wieden+Kennedy New York, which play off the automaker’s regular tagline, “Built Ford Proud.”
The spots were rapidly produced starting late last week as Ford execs realized their normal marketing plans would no longer cut it as the coronavirus pandemic overtakes nearly every facet of American life.
“Thursday morning of last week, it became clear we were at a tipping point where we expect typical messaging in the marketplace isn’t going to work the same way,” says Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. marketing for Ford Motor. “It’s important to be reassuring right now and not trying to say to people 'Rush into your car dealership for a sales event.’ ”
The ads play into Ford’s more than 100-year history. They reference how the company built tanks and planes during wartime, and more recently offered payment relief to consumers affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, fires and tornados.