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Ford is launching a public health campaign on New Year’s Day asking Americans to "keep acting to protect each other" by wearing masks and following other steps to stem the spread of COVID-19 until vaccines are widely available.
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To encourage Americans to #FinishStrong, the automaker teamed up with filmmaker Peter Berg and award-winning actor Bryan Cranston for a 30-second commercial that will air during the first week of 2021.
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Rather than preaching at consumers or "using fear as a motivator," Ford said the commercial uses portraits of frontline workers and people affected by the pandemic in an effort to appeal to "Americans’ shared sense of patriotism and what’s right."
In one scene, a 68-year-old man from Kansas City, who beat COVID-19 after 20 days on and off a ventilator, is seen leaving the hospital in his wheelchair with doctors and nurses cheering him on.
For Berg, it was "critical" to highlight the strength and spirit of the country and to offer inspiration during this troubling time.
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“People are weary, beat down, and it would be easy to let our guard down now," he said. "But we have to keep fighting for each other; we’re almost there."
If Americans continue to follow mitigation protocols that have been outlined by federal health officials as well as state and local governments, upward of 500,000 lives could be saved, Ford said, citing officials at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health research center at the University of Washington.
"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," Berg added.
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The spot is slated to debut during the Citrus Bowl on ABC and the Peach, Rose and Sugar bowls on ESPN on Jan. 1, and during Fox NFL games on Jan. 3.
The ad campaign marks Ford's latest effort in supporting those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The automaker in April became one of the first manufacturers to pivot toward making masks and face shields for frontline health care workers.
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Ford has already made 55 million masks and plans to make upward of 100 million masks by mid-2021.
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