I was watching
real American football Saturday night over here in the States (that’s right, I’m sporty af) on ESPN, and between the blur of commercials that ensued during timeouts, I noticed something… familiar.
Playing on the TV was a commercial from Ford Motors. It wasn’t a commercial I had seen before: an ad about the pandemic and about “finishing strong,” whether that meant 2020 or the pandemic in general. I knew there was a reason why I had this familiar feeling, but it was late and I was just waiting for Texas A&M to end the game already so I could go to bed. So I hadn’t put two and two together just yet.
Cut to Sunday afternoon, watching more football on FOX, one of the country’s biggest television stations, and the commercial played again during one of the most important football games of the weekend. Then, more awake and attentive than before, I focused on the commercial and the song.
And it came to me.
The song, coinciding with the commercial’s “Finish Strong” theme, was none other than “Hold On” by Nano, which came so close to representing Sweden at Eurovision 2017, coming 2nd in the final behind Robin Bengtsson’s “I Can’t Go On.”
Regardless of my personal opinion of the song, I always get really excited when anything remotely Eurovision-adjacent finds its way into American media (even if it involves some arguably tasteless jokes from late night hosts). So when I heard the song and recognized it, I screamed in excitement that I knew that song from the Eurovision sphere, which earned the obligatory “that’s nice honey” from my apathetic mother.
Forbes writes that Ford bought 20 half-minute long ad slots on various channels (all of which broadcasting football or basketball). The advertisement, narrated by actor Bryan Cranston, implores watchers to “hold the line,” claiming that “we are so close” to beating the pandemic.
This commercial (and tangentially, Nano’s song) has been seen by millions of Americans watching sports this New Year’s weekend. While the most important thing by far is the messaging of continuing to follow public health protocols in an effort to beat the pandemic, a minor tangential effect of this commercial is a potential for more exposure for Nano, Melodifestivalen, and Eurovision in general in the United States.
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