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Union’s Einar Teams With Director Pete Berg and Ford Urging Americans To “Finish Strong”
- Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021
Bowl game spot underscores patriotic duty to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
Kicking off the new year with a call to action is a :30 spot urging Americans to “Finish Strong” in the face of COVID-19. Ford Motor Co. worked with Civic Entertainment Group on the spot, which was written and directed by Pete Berg, produced by Film 47, edited by Einar of bicoastal Union, and features a VO by Bryan Cranston. Part of a broader advertising campaign, the spot debuted January 1 across multiple college football bowl games and is currently enjoying heavy airplay. In addition to Einar, the Union team included Assistant Editor Roman Petrov, Executive Producer Joe Ross and President/Managing Partner Michael Raimondi. Union’s sister company, Hunter, provided the finishing courtesy of Flame Artists Carolyn Woods, Evan Guidera & Maury Rosenfeld, Mix Engineer Milos Zivkovic, Graphics/Flame Assist Mannix Rickenbacher and Executive Producer Logan Aries.
In the spot, Cranston’s familiar voice plays over imagery of frontline health-care workers, friends and neighbors, essential workers and a COVID survivor, all wearing face masks and doing their part. “We are so close,” Cranston implores. “Soon we will be what were — touching, loving, living. Let's finish strong.” The objective is to unify Americans in their patriotic duty to participate in COVID-19 mitigation efforts as vaccines bring hope in ending a pandemic that has killed more than 345,000 people in the U.S.
Kumar Galhotra, president of Ford's Americas and International Markets Group, said in a statement: “While many are weary from the challenges 2020 has thrown at us, now is the time for us to pull together, protect each other and finish strong until COVID-19 vaccines arrive more broadly. Lives are on the line.”
“From the very beginning of the project, our director Pete Berg made it clear that in order to touch American hearts, the work has to come from a place of authenticity,” said Einar. “We found that pulling genuine-feeling footage from traditional stock houses proved very difficult for the obvious reason of it seeming staged. We were far more successful in scouring the internet, and especially social media, to feature real-life heroes and genuine moments of selflessness.”
For “Finish Strong,” Ford dedicated a number of the bowl game slots it was originally going to use to promote its F-150 truck, ensuring millions of views upon launch. Since the start of the pandemic, Ford has worked with the UAW on the production of PPE, including 20 million face shields, 50,000 ventilators, 32,000 respirators and 1.4 million gowns.
Union Editorial has offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and London, where it maintains an alliance with Marshall Street Editors. The company also develops and produces original content through its Union Entertainment Group banner. Other Union companies include Hunter, which provides finishing services, vfx, graphics and mix for commercials, features and gaming. Union is presided over by Partner/Managing Director Michael Raimondi in LA, Partner/Managing Director Caryn Maclean alongside Executive Producer Melissa Lubin in NY, and Executive Producer Vicki Russell in Austin. The Union roster is comprised of Partner/Editors Jim Haygood, Einar Thorsteinsson, Jay Friedkin, Sloane Klevin, Marco Perez, Merritt Duff, and editors Chris Huth, Daniel Luna, Laura Milstein, Jason Lucas, Karen Kourtessis, Kevin Ray, Nicholas Wayman-Harris, Rachael Waxler, Zach Kashkett, Andrea MacArthur, Amanda Perry as well as select projects with Teddy Gersten, Tim Thornton-Allan, Matt Chesse, John Mayes, Spencer Ferszt, Paul Plew and the Marshall Street roster.
Client: Ford Motor Co.
Spot Title: “Finish Strong”
First Air Date: 1/1/2021
Agency: Civic Entertainment Group
Production Company: Film 47, Los Angeles
Director/Writer: Pete Berg, President/EP: Vic Palumbo, Executive Producer: Elizabeth Rogers, Producer: Bob Samuel
Editorial Company: Union Editorial
Editor: Einar, Assistant Editor: Roman Petrov, President/Managing Partner: Michael Raimondi, Executive Producer: Joe Ross
Finishing Company: Hunter
Flame Artists: Carolyn Woods, Evan Guidera & Maury Rosenfeld; Mix Engineer: Milos Zivkovic, Graphics/Flame Assist: Mannix Rickenbacher, Executive Producer: Logan Aries
Color: Company 3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Archival Producer: Stephan Michaels, 2nd Wind Productions
Footage Research: David Lizama
Original Song: "Hold On," Artists: Nano
Music Supervision: Rob Kaplan, Aaron Mercer
Premier Music Group
Music Arranging: Jeffrey Elmassian, Dave Chapman,
Studio: Endless Noise