Ford and W+K Celebrate Modern Explorers Who Reach for the Stars—and the Rotisserie Chicken

Ads for redesigned Explorer takes some fun, relatable twists

An astronaut explores the infinite...number of errands in daily life.
Ford

Some days, you’re in the mood to explore the hidden world around us and mysteries beyond the horizon of human endeavor.

But some days you just want a rotisserie chicken because holy crap how is it already 7 p.m. and your kid still has to make a scale model of a xenon atom or whatever before tomorrow morning but did they tell you about it Tuesday when it was assigned, of course not, because god forbid you find out about these things with more than 12 hours’ notice just once in a given school year.

Clearly, life as a modern-day explorer isn’t easy. But in its newest ads from agency Wieden + Kennedy New York, Ford says its newly redesigned 2020 Explorer is the perfect vehicle for the complexities of this grand-but-grounded lifestyle.

In the most thorough spot spelling out the contrasts of limitless possibility shackled by endless responsibility, Bryan Cranston—voice of the “Built Ford Proud” campaign launched last year—narrates a :60 about an astronaut who must face challenges that truly require the right stuff, even if they’re far from alien.

In two other spots in the campaign, we drop into the lives of an introspective marine explorer and a rugged Yukon adventurer whose sole companions deserve a well earned moment of respite.

“For decades, Explorer has defined what an SUV is,” said Matt VanDyke, Ford director of U.S.
marketing, in a statement about the campaign launch. “Everything about the new Explorer was built with family adventure in mind—whether that’s visiting a national park or loading up for a romp at the local dog park.”

Specifically the ads tout the Explorer Limited Hybrid and new Explorer ST, the longtime lineup’s most powerful entry to date. The Cranston-voiced spot features the Explorer Platinum,

The campaign kicks off tonight and will include executions across TV, print, radio, social media, out of home and cinema.

In October 2018, Ford announced that its new creative agency would be Omnicom-owned BBDO, with independent Wieden + Kennedy’s New York office serving as an “innovation partner” that would handle specific projects and campaigns.

The major shift marked a huge setback for holding company WPP, whose agencies had been Ford’s primary advertising partners for 75 years. However, WPP’s dedicated network GTB was slated to continue working with Ford, leading activation, media buying and planning globally, along with shopper and performance marketing, website development, customer relationship marketing, multicultural marketing and Tier 2 dealer advertising.

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