Ford kicked off Black History Month with a bang. The automaker launched its “Built Phenomenally” ad campaign and debuted the all-new 2020 Ford Escape with an all-Black female cast and crew. Narrated by award-winning actress Angela Bassett, “Built Phenomenally” shines a spotlight on the Escape, the company’s bestselling SUV.
Ford partnered with two organizations to create the campaign. These partnerships affirmed Ford’s commitment to supporting the advancement of positive representations of women of color in media and advertising. The organizations are Free The Work, a groundbreaking nonprofit initiative advocating for companies to provide more opportunities for underrepresented creators; and the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer movement, whose mission is to accurately portray women and girls in media.
“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 at Ford Motor Co. “By following guidelines set by the Free The Work and #SeeHer initiatives, Ford is confident the campaign is a true celebration of Black women.”
The new, groundbreaking campaign celebrates the defiance, transformation and versatility of Black women as creators, marketers and performers who own their uniqueness and live phenomenally. The 35-second spot goes behind the scenes to focus on powerful women of color, all working together to bring the spot to life.
The commercials feature director Kanyessa McMahon; stylist Marci Rodgers; makeup artist Lola Okanlawon; and copywriter N’Jeri Nicholson. Register also makes a cameo appearance in the spot as well as Ford multicultural marketing manager Dibrie Guerrero.
“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,” Guerrero said. “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.”
In addition to “Built Phenomenally,” the team of Black female collaborators also created another 35-second spot titled “Own It,” which further showcases confident Black women, each with her own unique style. Bassett also narrates this commercial, which is set to the song “Bawdy” by Dillion Francis & TV Noise and features New Orleans bounce music queen Big Freedia, scenes with an HBCU-themed marching band, Black artwork, dancers and so much more.
Check out the “Built Phenomenally” commercial below, and click continue to view the “Own It” spot on the next page.