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Ford rolls out new 'Built Ford Proud' ad campaign

By Clyde Hughes

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- While Ford is taking a hit in China due to the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing, the automaker hopes a new ad campaign will lift vehicle sales in the United States.

New "Built Ford Proud" television ads, voiced by Emmy Award-winning Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston, will be running during the big rivalry football game between Michigan and Michigan State Saturday, the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

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The campaign, with the word "proud" noticeably replacing the word "tough" from Ford's previous ads, will hit the radio airwaves followed by print and social media placements afterward. The ads will highlight the Explorer SUV, F-150 pickup, Mustang and several other of the auto giant's high profile vehicles.

Ford showed the new ads to some 1,800 dealers at its annual dealer show in Las Vegas this week.

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"The company's got its swagger back," Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of global marketing, sales, and service told the dealers in Las Vegas. "Dealers love the new ad campaign. They say it's about time we go on our front foot and tell our story."

Through its work with the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, the ads indirectly tweak Ford's competitors and tout more than a century of history in the auto business.

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"Some will talk about the future," Cranston narrates in one of the ads. "You'd be a fool to believe them. You see, talk doesn't get things done. Building does... Let the other guys keep dreaming about the future. We'll be the ones building it."

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The new ads come as bad news rolls in from China, the world's largest automobile market.

Ford's sales there are down 43 percent and General Motors 15 percent as the trade war between the two countries continues, CBS News reported.

Ford and GM make and sell cars in China as part of joint ventures with Chinese companies, but there has been an overall 11.6 percent decline in Chinese market auto sales, its largest drop in seven years.

The loss of business in China has affected both companies on Wall Street, with Ford and GM seeing a 27 percent drop in shares since June.

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