Although there’s present tension in America’s auto manufacturing industry, most companies have started to schedule workers to return to its factories. Ford is reopening in phases—it’s scheduled to open its doors on Monday—and has launched a campaign aimed for network television to remind everyone what its been doing since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Created by Wieden + Kennedy and narrated by Bryan Cranston, the two spots, titled “Built for America,” emphasize, but don’t explicitly say the automaker’s role in combating the crisis, which includes the production of nearly 100,000 ventilators it has built since April.
“At a moment’s notice we can take American ingenuity and our manufacturing capability and put it to work,” Cranston said over shots of respirators, face shields and ventilators with an emphasis on Ford’s plant employees each covered with a face mask.
The company said in a statement that it made 400,000 reusable surgical gowns made from the same materials as airbags and shipped more than 14 million face shields to all 50 states.
“The auto industry is the backbone of America’s economy, and we’re proud of our workers’ resolve and dedication to quickly pivot and produce life-saving personal protection equipment during the coronavirus, making a real difference when the country needed us,” Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford’s Americas and International Markets department, said in a statement.
The second spot features the daily grind of frontline workers such as firemen, healthcare professionals and construction workers not combating Covid-19 explicitly, but illustrating the everyday strife they face in their professions.
“There’s always some new challenge trying to take us out, to shake our resolve,” Cranston said. “If you’re out there fighting through it, we know 260,000 people who have your back.”
The ads are being released at a time when the auto industry has seen its spending on television advertising fall between 55% and 70% over the course of the Covid-19 outbreak. The ads that have run spotlight current discounts and services like home delivery.
Ford is expected to lose $5 billion during its second-quarter earnings report later this year, but the automaker told investors that it doesn’t expect things to get worse than that.
The company told Adweek that the spot will appear across all network prime time shows and during the morning and evening news in addition to Sunday’s Nascar race at Darlington Raceway.