Ford goes all in on an ‘Escape’ for Diwali

With a bespoke spot, the automaker wants a multicultural message to go mainstream and stretch beyond yesterday's holiday.


Ford has a clear message for all Canadians, but especially those of South Asian descent, in a new spot: there’s “No Escape Like Home.”

A new campaign for the Ford Dealers of Toronto was created to celebrate yesterday’s Diwali holiday, but aims to carry a message that’s relevant year-round. Developed by multicultural creative agency Ethnicity Matters, the spot tells the story of a South Asian daughter and her family who take a short road trip in their Escape from Toronto to London to visit her father not just to celebrate Diwali, but make their first in-person visit for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a Diwali story, but it’s also a story that really transcends cultures,” says Howard Lichtman, a founding partner of the agency. “The emotion of being able to see your family again after two years really speaks to everybody, but it happens to be set within the Diwali context. Someone who is South Asian viewing this spot would feel it is completely authentic. So it really lives in two worlds.”

The spot is the first of its kind to be produced specifically for Ford by Ethnicity Matters. It was conceived by Waseem Shaikh, creative lead at the agency. While the agency has worked on adaptations of existing Ford materials for the automaker in the past, “this is bespoke creative,” says Lichtman.

Ford recognizes that “multicultural [marketing] has become mainstream,” says Lichtman, and so the automaker is leaning in on messaging to different ethnic groups. The South Asian community is the largest ethnic group in Canada, and it is also the fastest growing, he adds.

“Ford is putting their money where their mouth is,” he says. “They believe in this community and they are trying to create something that is culturally relevant.”

The spot will continue to air in various lengths – full-length, as well as 15- and 30-second cuts – online, on social media and on four leading South Asian TV stations, Lichtman says.