If feels like everywhere we turn we are hearing about someone we know, a friend of a friend, or even someone we love being diagnosed with breast cancer. What should we say? How do we react? Do we say we are sorry? We want to help but we aren’t quite sure how; we ask ourselves “How can we help them have #moregooddays?”
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit and speak with Tracy Magee, Brand Manager for Ford Motor Company’s initiative Warriors in Pink, regarding their new campaign, The Good Day Project (More information on www.FordCares.com)
ME: Could you tell me a little bit about you & your role with Ford?
TRACY: I have been with Ford for 12 years across a variety of marketing positions where I had the opportunity to work on vehicle lines, product launches, and out in the field with our dealers. I have had a good overview of the company before this role, which has been beneficial. Now I have been the Warrior in Pink Brand Manager for 4 years and it’s been my favorite position within the company by far. It’s been a great opportunity to work on specifically the part of Ford’s brand promise, that’s called Better World and I feel like I’ve really found my niche in helping in that Better World aspect of our brand promise.
ME: How was the seed of supporting breast cancer planted?
TRACY: Ford was one of the first corporate partners & sponsorships of the cause and working with Susan G. Komen when we became a national race series sponsor 21 years ago. That was the first time Ford really jumped in and got involved in the cause. So many people are impacted by the disease and family is such an important part of Ford’s DNA, starting with Henry Ford and his family. We still have very active Ford family members on the board. We know how many people are impacted by this disease, so Ford has really stood by the commitment to be involved to find new and different ways to help each year. From there what’s been interesting about the seed in someone’s head and how it’s grown is that just from being a race series partnership we have grown into a 365 day a year all marketing channels campaign and really look for more and more ways to help.
ME: When did Warriors in Pink come to fruition?
TRACY: What really intensified our efforts was when we developed the Warriors in Pink brand name and launched that brand with the Warriors in Pink symbol. All of those creative juices to intensify our efforts, to give it a brand, and to give it an outward symbol happened in 2006. From there we have continued year after year to add new programming elements, to add more partners, add the retail sales so people could really actively help us fund raise. Every year we get a new seed in someone’s mind of something to add and this year it’s the More Good Days campaign. There’s just been a lot of evolution and growth of Ford’s commitment over these 21 years.
ME: I remember when I first started seeing the Warriors in Pink campaign? Where did the warrior come from?
TRACY: We still have our two main creative directors involved in the campaign and to this day, I still get energized when I listen to them speak about where the inspiration came from! The inspiration came from the Race for the Cure. The way the race is set up in Detroit there is a tall building that is right on the race route. A lot of times we do a lot of our media and our photography from this building that overlooks these 30K people walking in pink and so they still talk about the day they got inspired. The conversation was like, “Wow look at that down there, that’s like an army, but they are an army that hug and an army that is optimistic; they are excited to be marching forward!” It was an army in pink and the discussion moved to warriors in pink and they instantly knew they had something there. We do understand that there are awful effects of the disease, and there are days when people aren’t feeling like a warrior or feeling optimistic, but we choose to focus on a very optimistic warrior-like energy & spirit for our program. You will see that we do use a lot of the doves, and the hearts, and the spirals, and the tree of life. A lot of our symbols are for the optimism, courage, inspiration & that is the tone of our program & the spirit that we try to carry forward into the apparel designs, the bandannas that we give out at race events and into all our marketing materials as well. It’s really to help fuel that spirit of the person that is going through the disease.
During my conversation with Tracy, what really came to mind is the old saying, “It takes a village…” It really sounded to me like Ford’s Warriors in Pink was taking that approach with the program partners and sponsors. The best place to read all about the program is on FordCares.com, but just to give you a brief overview. Ford supports four different breast cancer charities with 10 of the net proceeds from Warriors in Pink wear and gear:
Lyft & Meal Train are new additions this year and Tracy gave me the low down on how they came to be part of The Good Day Project…
ME: How did Lyft & Meal Train come to be involved with Warriors in Pink?
TRACY: Those came about as part of our insight as to more good days. We had conversations with our Models of Courage, which are the survivors that we work with as part of the program. They really are the heart & soul of the program! They would talk and we would just listen in and we would have dialogue with them and we started to hear about these good days and bad days,”What do you do for this?” and “How do you get through that?” and it really became that insight. Cancer patients have good days and bad days so let’s figure out how to give them More Good Days. What can we do as Ford and as those that tap into our resources to give them More Good Days. These two partnerships were a tangible way to be that village.
Meal Train (through Dec 2015)
-online platform for organizing family & friends to bring meals to loved ones fighting breast cancer
-Ford will be sponsoring the upgrade to Meal Train Plus, which not only helps organize meal deliveries, but other household needs such as errand services & childcare
Lyft (through Oct 2015)
-transportation to & from treatment is so important so that they don’t miss that radiation/chemo
-will be offering rides to & from appointments for select patients undergoing treatment
-partnership made a lot of sense with Lyft because of the ride sharing ability, app & easy to use
-will be made available across 17 states partnering with a few treatment centers in each city and providing them with free ride coupons for their patients
“We are very excited about those two partnerships as they really are a tangible way of providing help & support.” ~Tracy Magee, Brand Manager, Ford Warriors in Pink
ME: If you could add any component to the program, what would it be?
TRACY: A lot of what we are trying to do is help people to find the resources, find the help that they need and our charity partners are doing a lot as well to help educate on the medical side. We do try to shine a light on our charity partners and all the great research & resources that they have so with all our resources combined we are treating the WHOLE patient.
ME: How can women wanting to take advantage of these services get more information?
TRACY: The best way for them to get information is by going right to FordCares.com.
So that is exactly what I did! There is tons of information regarding all the different charities & partnerships, PLUS an entire area dedicated to WARRIOR WEAR! I couldn’t help myself so check out how I would style some of the Warriors in Pink apparel!
Head on over to Fordcares.com and find out how you can make a difference! No action is too small!
Let me know in the comments: How can you help them someone #moregooddays?