Ford is using slots it had booked to promote its new F-150 pickup for ads that make no mention of motor vehicles. The nationwide "Finish Strong" campaign urges Americans not to abandon COVID precautions during this crucial phase of the pandemic, NBC News reports. The 30-second ad will debut Friday during the Citrus Bowl on ABC and the Peach, Rose, and Sugar bowls on ESPN, and will appear during other college and pro games until at least Jan. 3, reports the Detroit News. The spot is narrated by Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston and directed by Peter Berg, whose credits include Patriots Day and the Friday Night Lights TV series. The campaign will appear in around half the slots Ford had booked for the F-150 ads.
"We are so close. Soon we will be what [we] were—touching, loving, living," Cranston says in the ad. "Let's finish strong." Ford—which has produced millions of pieces of PPE and tens of thousands of ventilators during the pandemic—says it wanted to deliver a positive, unifying message. "The goal was, how could we help rally around this idea that we're almost there?" says Mark Truby, Ford's chief communications officer, per the Detroit News. "Vaccines are around the corner, but we know from health care experts that as many as 50,000 more American lives could be saved between now and when we have mass adoption of vaccines ... if we were to follow proper COVID protocols as a society." (Read more Ford stories.)