Sunday night, NBC presented American Dreams with no commercial interruption except for a long form Ford commercial at the end of the episode. In the episode, JJ Pryor, who had been wounded in Vietnam, returned home to his family after having been listed MIA. It was a heart wrenching episode and one that would assuredly have been ruined by traditional, interruptive pod advertising.
Ford, the only sponsor of the episode, created a brilliant and emotional long form commercial which ran at the end of the episode. In the commercial, which mirrored the plot of the episode, a son is seen coming home from Iraq to his family. Ford cars played a role in the commercial, as well as in the episode, but in a way that was natural and not forced. Sure, there were the usual beauty shots of the cars but they blended unobtrusively with the ad's plot. Never, before has there been a more brilliant, emotionally powerful and seamlessly relevant program sponsorship. Kudos to Ford and NBC for this extraordinary effort.
View the spot here. Skeptics should understand this spot will not have the emotional resonance it did when attached to the American Dreams episode in which it ran.