Narrated by award-winning actress Angela Bassett, Ford’s latest ad campaign, “Built Phenomenally,” shines a spotlight on the all-new 2020 Escape – the company’s best-selling SUV. The new African American-focused campaign celebrates the defiance, transformation and versatility of black women as creators, marketers and performers who own their uniqueness and live phenomenally.
As a founding partner of FREE THE WORK, a groundbreaking nonprofit initiative advocating for companies to provide more opportunities for underrepresented creators, Ford worked with agency partner UWG – the longest-standing multicultural marketing agency in the United States – to conduct a fair and open bidding process to find the best production talent. To ensure the campaign accurately portrays women and girls, the team followed insights provided by the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer movement, of which Ford is a board member. The result is a campaign created by and for black women that affirms Ford’s commitment to supporting the advancement of positive representations of them in media and advertising.
“A main goal of our ‘Built Phenomenally’ campaign is to honestly represent African American females,” said Raj Register, head of brand strategy and growth audience marketing, Ford Motor Company. “By following guidelines set by the FREE THE WORK and #SeeHer initiatives, Ford is confident the campaign is a true celebration of black women.”
A series of commercials salute the production process to create a campaign within a campaign. “Built Phenomenally” goes behind the scenes to focus on powerful women of color all working to bring the Ford spot to life, including Kanyessa McMahon, director; Marci Rogers, stylist; Lola Okanlawon, makeup artist; and N’Jeri Nicholson, copywriter. Ford’s own Register as well as Dibrie Guerrero, multicultural marketing manager, are contributing their marketing expertise.
The bright, bold final spot, “Own It,” showcases confident black women – each with her own unique style. The soundtrack for this celebration of black girl magic is “Bawdy” by Dillion Francis & TV Noise, with Big Freedia, bounce music queen of New Orleans.
“As black women continue to grow and influence culture, Ford is committed to supporting their empowered future with products and services that meet and anticipate their needs,” said Guerrero. “The all-new Ford Escape – completely redesigned, engineered and transformed for 2020 – features the resources and attributes to be a partner that confidently drives you to seize your moment and enables you to choose what to do next.”
The integrated campaign includes broadcast, digital, social, print and experiential platforms. Branded content spotlights Ford’s support of nonprofit organization Made in Her Image, dedicated to the advancement of young girls and women in film, media and technology, and Girls Make Beats, empowering girls by expanding the presence of young women DJs, music producers and audio engineers.
Finally, for the 10th consecutive year, Ford Motor Company is returning as presenting sponsor of ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood luncheon in February to honor the contributions of black women in Hollywood.