- Emotive and inspiring ‘Ford For South Africa’ brand campaign reveals Ford’s exceptional legacy, and its determination to create a brighter future for the country
- Ford has played an instrumental role in the South African automotive sector for over 96 years, and remains one of the country’s largest vehicle manufacturers, contributing more than one-percent to SA’s GDP
- Ford is dedicated to creating empowerment, community upliftment, economic growth, sustainability – and producing world-class products for South Africa and around the globe
“Ford has been an integral part of the automotive landscape in South Africa since local assembly of the Model T began in Port Elizabeth in 1923. It remains one of the country’s largest vehicle manufacturers and exporters with the exceptional Ranger, Ranger Raptor and Everest being produced at our Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria,” says Neale Hill, managing director of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA).
“Our new ‘Ford For South Africa’ brand campaign goes beyond just highlighting Ford’s corporate and product legacy. It captures the essence of what makes Ford, and the Ford family in South Africa, deeply involved and committed to this wonderful and vibrant country,” Hill adds. This is achieved through far-reaching projects such as Ford’s current COVID-19 face shields production, the annual Ford Global Caring Month in September, the Ford Research and Engagement Centre established in Mamelodi, and the Ford Wildlife Foundation which supports 25 environmental organisations across Southern Africa.
“Although Ford is a US company, it has become intrinsically and proudly South African too, with that indomitable Ford spirit remaining a defining feature of our past, our present and our unwavering dedication to building a promising future for all South Africans,” explains Doreen Mashinini, General manager Marketing at FMCSA. “All of this is encapsulated in our new ‘Ford For South Africa’ campaign, which features an inspirational 30-second TV commercial, developed and executed in conjunction with our advertising agency, Network BBDO.”
According to Steven Tyler, Creative director of Network BBDO, this campaign provided a unique opportunity to showcase how Ford is ‘for’ so many things in South Africa, and has become an integral part of our everyday lives and lifestyles.
“Ford has shown incredible goodwill and commitment to South Africa since it arrived here 96 years ago. It has been creating jobs, boosting the economy, supporting worthy causes, investing in the youth, protecting our country’s wildlife, and the list goes on. Sharing these stories in a more deliberate way has the power to build a positive brand affinity and reputation, and defined our approach to this new campaign,” Tyler says.
“We wanted to celebrate the positive commitment Ford has made to the community and culture of our country by showing the brand’s empathy and goodwill in a way that feels genuine, iconic and, most importantly, unmistakably Ford. This shows that Ford is, and always has been, FOR South Africa.”
Tyler reveals that producing the campaign was an exciting project, yet it was equally challenging and complicated trying to condense a remarkable 96-year history and everything that Ford does into 30 seconds, while touching on all the key pillars: a remarkable history, a long line of iconic products, continued investment in manufacturing, as well as empowering people and communities, and protecting the environment. “We had a fantastic collaboration with Ford’s Marketing department as well as its Communications team, which helped guide us in capturing what Ford does, and what is important to them outside of just building and selling vehicles,” he explains.
For Fiso Tshivhandekano, Lead strategist at Network BBDO, what stood out for him in developing the strategy for the ‘Ford For South Africa’ campaign was the clear sentiment that Ford cares for South Africa, and is totally committed to the country.
“It was important for us that we not only show what Ford does locally, but also why the company does it. This is particularly pertinent at a time when everybody is worried and uncertain about the future,” Tshivhandekano explains. “It is reassuring that one of the country’s oldest and leading manufacturers is here to stay, is investing in the future, has dedicated itself to help the country grow economically, and is determined to alleviate some of the social challenges that we face.
“This campaign reveals the patriotism of Ford, its employees and dealers towards South Africa, and how it gives back to the country by working with government, humanitarian organisations and wildlife projects to create new opportunities for our future, while delivering the very best and most capable products to help people achieve their goals,” he adds.
For production, products and people
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) plays a key role in the local economy through continued investment in its manufacturing operations at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth. The company contributes over 1 percent to South Africa’s total gross domestic product (GDP), employs approximately 4 300 people and supports over 50 000 jobs in the total value chain. It is supported by 140 dealers around the country and in neighbouring Namibia, Botswana and Eswatini.
From the founding years when Henry Ford set out to build cars that the average person could afford, Ford Motor Company’s focus remains on providing mobility solutions to drive humanity and commerce forward. Over the decades, Ford has produced a long line of iconic vehicles in South Africa that redefined their segments and contributed to the brand’s exceptionally strong following, including the iconic Cortina XR6 from the 1980s that is featured in the ‘Ford For South Africa’ advertising campaign.
Ford now manufactures and assembles world-class vehicles, engines and components for South Africa and more than 100 global export markets. The current generation Ford Ranger bakkie, or pickup, set an entirely new benchmark for the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment when it debuted in 2011. Offering the ‘Built Ford Tough’ capability of a load-lugging workhorse along with peerless luxury, comfort, safety and technology, the Ranger certainly raised the bar. Not surprisingly, it has been one of South Africa’s top-selling vehicles ever since. The locally produced Ranger is also the country’s leading LCV export, and the best-selling pickup in Europe.
Breaking boundaries and creating an all-new segment is inextricably linked to Ford’s DNA, and this is certainly exemplified in the Ranger Raptor, which blasted onto the scene last year as the first high-performance off-road pickup in its segment. With a race-developed suspension and astonishingly capable all-terrain performance, the proudly South African-built Ranger Raptor remains in a league of its own.
For luxury, sophistication, cutting-edge safety and driver-assist technologies, it’s hard to beat the stylish Everest seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV) which is assembled alongside the Ranger at Ford’s Silverton plant. As with the rest of the line-up, the engines are produced at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, including the impressive new 2.0-litre Single Turbo and powerful 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo units, which are mated to an advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.
For performance car enthusiasts one name stands above all others – and that’s the legendary Mustang. The exclusive, limited-edition Mustang Bullitt featured in the 30-second advertisement doesn’t only pay tribute to the iconic 1960s model used in the Steve McQueen film, but symbolizes the ultimate in contemporary style, performance and driving involvement from the Ford Performance stable.
While catering for the needs of today, Ford is also boldly embracing and embarking on a drive to be more sustainable and environmentally compatible in the decades to come. The development of hybrid and all-electric vehicles, such as the revolutionary Mustang Mach-E, along with a suite of innovative new autonomous driving and mobility solutions, are paving the way for an exhilarating automotive future.
Ford is renowned for its wide range of humanitarian initiatives aimed at uplifting communities, empowering people through skills development and training, and working tirelessly to create a better world by supporting wildlife conservation, research and education.
In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Ford dedicated its resources and facilities at the Silverton plant to producing protective face shields to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Over 250 000 face shields have been produced to date, with more than 140 000 donated to the Department of Health and several humanitarian organisations. FMCSA has been self-funding the labour costs for the assembly and packaging of the face shields, with all funds received going towards the purchase of the material kits.
Ford employees and dealers support a wide range of community upliftment programmes throughout the year, but it’s the annual Global Caring Month in September where the focus on improving and changing people’s lives really comes together, Volunteers across Southern Africa join forces to reach out and assist communities in a coordinated and impactful manner. Last year, 30 non-profit organisations received support from the Ford volunteers across the region, with grants from the Ford Motor Company Fund helping them to make a real difference in peoples’ lives.
Ford Fund also supports the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC), which provides skills development and training for community members from Mamelodi, near Ford’s Silverton plant. The graduates are 90-percent female, and receive training in a variety of fields, such as early childhood development, which helps them get jobs or start their own business.
In association with global non-profit organisation Enactus, the Ford College Community Challenge (C3), empowers student-led projects to across the country to address critical issues in their communities. The recently announced winners of the programme in South Africa each receive a $5 000 grant from the Ford Fund to put their COVID-19 fighting ideas into action.
A new, pioneering public-private partnership with national, provincial and local government in the establishment of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ), adjacent to the Silverton Assembly Plant, will not only help unleash future expansion possibilities for Ford’s local operations, but is set to create an estimated 70 000 jobs in the total value chain – thus giving the surrounding communities and businesses a significant economic boost.
For conservation and wildlife
For more than three decades, FMCSA has been actively involved in the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting more than 170 projects to date.
The Ford Wildlife Foundation (FWF), which was established in 2014, continues Ford’s long-standing backing for conservation projects in Southern Africa through the provision of Ford Ranger Double Cab 4x4s to partner organisations to assist with the effective implementation of their environmental education, research, and conservation initiatives. The FWF currently supports 25 projects across the region to ensure the sustainability of threatened and endangered animals, plant species and habitats.
Watch the ‘Ford For South Africa’ TV commercial here: