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Ford cancels F-150 ads, to launch 'finish strong' campaign to urge masks to fight coronavirus

Ford has announced it will cancel a previously scheduled round of F-150 ad operations and launch a national New Year's Day campaign, "Finish Strong," urging viewers to wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The ad campaign is produced by "Patriots Day" movie director Peter Berg and narrated by "Breaking Bad" actor Bryan Cranston, NBC News reported.

The 30-second ad is slated to air during the first three days of 2021 and on networks broadcasting college football bowl and NFL games, with an extended campaign attached to social media.

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Jim Baumbick, Ford's vice president for enterprise product line management, strategy and planning, said the goal of the campaign is to make masks less of a political discussion and emphasize their utility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“The underlying premise is that we’re not helpless,” Baumbick said during a video conference announcing the campaign. “The outcome is not predetermined. There are things you can do to save lives.”

The company's message comes as more than 340,000 American deaths have been reported since the outset of the pandemic and more than 19 million have been infected with the virus.

Ford has also been a notable manufacturer of personal protective equipment, producing 55 million masks as well as face shields and medical gowns. Ford has also developed 32,000 medical facility respirators for critical COVID-19 patients.

“We feel we have a credible voice to convey this message because we are a trusted company and have put our money where our mouth is," said Mark Truby, Ford communications chief.