Ford Pulls F-150 Ads to Send an Important Message About the Coronavirus

There’s no denying that the Ford F-150 is a pretty important vehicle for Ford. In fact, according to MotorTrend, the automaker had an expensive F-150-centric ad campaign tee-ed up and ready to go come New Year’s Day. But now? Ford’s plans have shifted. Instead, it’s launching a new #FinishStrong ad campaign to encourage Americans to pull together and protect each other until the coronavirus vaccine becomes more widely available.

Ford Urges Nation to #FinishStrong
Ford will launch #FinishStrong, a public call to action initiative starting Jan. 1, encouraging Americans to pull together and keep acting to protect each other until COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available. | Ford

Ford wants you to #FinishStrong in the battle against the coronavirus

The cornerstone of Ford’s #FinishStrong ad campaign is a 30-second commercial created by award-winning filmmaker Peter Berg, who is most known for “Friday Night Lights,” “Patriots Day,” and “Lone Survivor.” Award-winning actor Bryan Cranston stepped up to narrate the spot, which highlights brief portraits of front-line workers and those who have been affected by the coronavirus. Included in the spot is John Williams, 68, who beat the virus after 20 long days on and off a ventilator. In the spot, he’s shown triumphantly leaving the hospital as doctors and nurses cheer him on.

According to Berg, this kind of imagery was critical to Ford’s #FinishStrong campaign. “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.”

Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, agreed with Berg’s assessment. He added, “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.”

A group of medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic
A group of medical professionals during the coronavirus pandemic | Ford

How Ford is helping combat the coronavirus pandemic

Ford’s #FinishStrong ad campaign isn’t the first time the automaker has stepped up during the pandemic. Ford has been steadfast in supporting those who have been affected by the coronavirus since April. To date, the automaker says it has manufactured 55 million masks and will hit 100 million masks for donations by mid-2021. 

The automaker has also helped produce 20 million face shields, 50,000 patient ventilators, more than 32,000 powered air-purifying respirators in collaboration with 3M, and 1.4 million washable isolation gowns. It’s donated more than 50 million face masks to nonprofit organizations, state and local officials, first responders, schools, and underserved communities in all 50 states too. Ford says its next round of masks will be available at dealerships in six states across the eastern U.S. on January 12.

“At Ford, serving people is a long-held tradition,” says Galhotra. “We’re proud to earn our customers’ trust – and we’ll always step up when people need us.”

Two men wearing masks at the barber
Two men wearing masks at the barber | Ford

An uplifting message for these coronavirus-times

While the #FinishStrong ad spot is certainly uplifting, it’s obviously not going to put a stop to the spread of the virus. But, Ford is hopeful that it will help. Ford says that according to officials at the IHME, University of Washington’s School of Medicine, if more Americans wore masks, 50,000 or more lives could be saved between now and the end of March, when vaccines are said to become more readily available. And that’s kind of the point. 

Someone receiving the coronavirus vaccine
Someone receiving the coronavirus vaccine | Ford

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Ford isn’t here to cure the virus. It simply wants to remind you to listen to the science and continue wearing that mask of yours. As Galhotra explained, “We’re in this together, and Ford’s goal since the pandemic started has been to try to help save lives.”