afaqs! news bureau

Ford’s new spot evokes builders, aims to unite a divided nation…

… As President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration nears and the US emerges from the January 6 Capitol Hill riots.

The American dream, for decades, has offered hope to people across the world. From its own denizens to hopeful immigrants, it was the promise that you can build your life in a place you couldn’t have dreamed of before.

The United States has always prided itself on its ability to build. From Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and the White House in Columbia, Washington to the skylines of New York City and the cars at the Ford factory in Detroit. It’s this unique ability that has spearheaded this nation to become the leader of the planet for decades, and gave rise to American exceptionalism.

Unfortunately, COVID and a toxic presidential rule decimated the reputation the “Leader of the free world” held for all these decades. Anthropologist Wade Davis summed it up in a story for Rolling Stone, where he wrote, "… a country that once turned out fighter planes by the hour could not manage to produce the paper masks or cotton swabs essential for tracking the disease.”

“The nation that defeated smallpox and polio, and led the world for generations in medical innovation and discovery, was reduced to a laughing stock as a buffoon of a president advocated the use of household disinfectants as a treatment for a disease that intellectually he could not begin to understand."

Outgoing president Donald Trump's speech is said to have been the lynchpin for the attack on Capitol Hill (January 6, 2021), the seat of the US government, and forced its lawmakers to look for cover to possibly their lives. The riot was an attempt to overturn Trump's defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

The scenes were seen across the world. It not only hurt and embarrassed the US, but also brought to the fore the deep divisions within the nation.

Now, as the US begins to prepare for president-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration today (January 20), Ford, the carmaker, has released an ad aimed at soothing and uniting the deeply divided nation.

Made by Wieden+Kennedy New York, the 60-second spot asks us to “look to the builders” because they are always there. And when times get tough, they don’t give up on their principles but “build on them.” Towards the end, we see the message: Build for America.

Hopefully, it will be a better message of building from scratch, than the last one.