DEARBORN - Ford F-Series trucks will play a major role in the new television program Stars Earn Stripes, which premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
Stars Earn Stripes is a competition-based series that pairs eight celebrities – including Nick Lachey, Dean Cain, Picabo Street and Laila Ali – with special operatives and first responders to compete in complicated missions inspired by real military exercises. From helicopter drops into water to long-range weapons fire, the contestants will be tested physically, mentally and emotionally.
“This is an ideal program for Ford to be associated with because it sends an important message about the sacrifices made by the men and women who serve our nation in the armed forces and our communities as first responders,” said Crystal Worthem, manager, Brand Content & Alliances.
The stars and their teams will use F-Series trucks in a variety of ways throughout each episode of the series, which will air every Monday culminating in a two-hour finale on Sept. 3 when two F-150s with EcoBoost will be awarded – one to the winning operative and the other to the charity of the winning celebrity.
“Stars Earn Stripes will depict the Built Ford Tough aspects of our trucks,” said Kevin Schebil, manager, Experiential Marketing. “You will see F-Series trucks doing some pretty rough maneuvers like smashing through walls and pulling down water towers.”
Twice during the two-hour premiere of Stars Earn Stripes tonight and once during each episode of the series, Ford will air a special 30-second ad featuring Ford employees who do double duty serving their communities and their country.
“Many of our Ford employees work hard at another very important job as active members of the U.S. military and as volunteer police officers or fire fighters,” said Worthem. “This is our way of showing our ongoing support and gratitude to them and to all of the men and women who make this tremendous sacrifice.”
The ad features eight Ford employees holding photographs of themselves dressed in their service uniforms as music plays softly in the background. At the end of the spot, the employees’ Ford badges flash up one after the other and the announcer says, “We’re proud to support the nearly 7,000 Ford employees and all their brothers and sisters who go further … to serve their communities and their country.”
“I am going on 20 years with the company and I have never felt such a sense of teamwork and pride as I do today,” said Todd Brooks, one of the employees featured in the ad. Brooks works as an operations supervisor at the Allen Park Test Laboratory, and he is a member of the U.S. Navy.
“People can buy a product from any company they choose,” he said. “I hope America will see that we at Ford Motor Company are different and that perhaps in some way they may be able to make an emotional connection not only to our products but a connection to the people that work hard every day to deliver them.”
Erin Meadows, senior paralegal, Legal Office Compliance Group, is also in the ad. She is a senior chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy and recently returned from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
“I was very happy to hear that Ford was producing a commercial featuring employees who also serve their country,” she said. “It will be a great opportunity for Ford to highlight itself as not only a great manufacturer of cars and trucks but also a great employer. I could not be more proud to be a part of the Ford team.”
Also featured in the ad is Michael Woolman, UAW Health & Safety Representative and Emergency Response Team chief at the Woodhaven Stamping Plant.
“I was happy that the decision makers at Ford thought enough of their employees to promote the service they give to their community and to our great country,” he said. “The commercial will not only showcase the extra effort put forth by Ford employees but also serve to remind the public that there are thousands of other people across the U.S. providing services to their communities and country as well.”
In addition to the television ad, Ford created an extended version of the spot which includes behind-the-scenes interviews with the employees and highlights their individual stories. It will live online at www.facebook.com/fordtrucks.