My Car Quest

March 1, 2024

Ford Comes Up With a Dynamite Advertising Campaign Just When We Need It

Ford Produces A Life-Saving Idea

by Wallace Wyss –

Ford did something really commendable this week, they decided to help out folks who bought a Ford and are now rendered jobless by the coronavirus. The spots plug a car payment relief program but also remind Americans how the company has responded during previous disasters like WWII when they put aside cars and built bombers, rolling them down the assembly line at flank speed. Ditto for Willys Jeeps, which Willys invented but couldn’t build them fast enough.

Ford smoke stacks

In a story March 16th in Ad Age by EJ Schultz, they say Ford is pulling all national ads promoting its vehicles for this new campaign responding to the coronavirus, and promising Ford Credit customers some payment relief.

The spots will probably also show up on YouTube, entitled “Built to Lend a Hand” and “Built for Right Now.” They are from Wieden+Kennedy New York. They manage to work in the regular theme (pre-virus) “Built Ford Proud,” which I don’t mind. They should be proud, offering to help out their customers in a time of dire need,

The spots were produced incredibly fast, in only a week after Ford execs realized the normal marketing plans were obsolete. Irrelevant with many businesses shuttered and the public being urged to “shelter in place”.

Matt VanDyke, director of U.S. marketing for Ford Motor Co. told Ad Age “It’s important to be reassuring right now and not trying to say to people “Rush into your car dealership for a sales event.”

Ford has also in the past offered payment relief to consumers affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, fires and tornados. The relief my be something like Ford Credit, changing a payment due date or delaying a payment.

Wallace Wyss' Parents

The author’s mum and dad. He was lured to Ford from Switzerland by Henry Ford’s $5 a day offer to factory workers, considered generous at the time. So I wouldn’t be here if Ford hadn’t done that, Thank you Ford…

Ford Credit is also offering a program giving new vehicle buyers the option to delay their first payment for 90 days. Hyundai actually launched something similar over the last weekend in promising to make up to six months of payments for drivers who lose their jobs because of the virus and who purchased or leased their vehicle between March 14 to April 30, 2020.

Ford is also giving money to support food programs for children no longer in school.

Ad Age pointed out that, with sports curtailed, “the automaker has fewer places to put its spots.” Ford had buys slated for scripted TV shows and news programming so instead will run these new ads. By the way I like that they did them in black and white, attracts your attention like a documentary, and indeed they used documentary news footage.

Once the virus is defeated, we’ll be back to full color ads for F-150s and the new Bronco but, meanwhile, thank you Ford….


Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, the son of a Ford assembly line worker, hails from Detroit. He has written half a dozen books on Ford and Shelby.


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Ford Comes Up With a Dynamite Advertising Campaign Just When We Need It
Article Name
Ford Comes Up With a Dynamite Advertising Campaign Just When We Need It
A new Ford advertising campaign is designed to help out Americans who need it now due to the coronavirus.


  1. Wow, good for Ford. I have noticed that when i see ads on television for various things my first thought is “why are these ads still running since, who can be interested in going out and buying anything other than necessities of life such as food and drugs?”

  2. wallace wyss says

    I agree with you. I haven’t fully comprehended it yet, but if this disease lasts even six months, it will fundamentally change people’s buying habits. A lot of items we once wanted will seem totally irrelevant, post corona virus. Many upscale shopping malls will have no reason for being. Think East Germany before the wall came down
    Boy am I full of cheer….

  3. Dave Turner says

    Wallace, you really need to find out who really invented the worlds first Jeep. Try looking up the American Bantam Car co. in Butler,Pa

  4. Wallace is right, with Corona relevance of things we planned ahead changes on a daily base.

  5. wallace wyss says

    I knew Bantam designed it but I think Willys said they could do it, and made some but the war expanded so fast it was obvious they couldn’t satisfy the need.

    I think the Jeeos are a great American artifact.

  6. Jack Shea says

    Humans don’t seem to ever learn from history. What’s it been 12 years since the last blip ? Do you think most are better prepared today ? I DON’T THINK SO.

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