Two Metro Detroit-based companies earlier this year created the FordDirect Video Marketplace, which provides Ford and Lincoln dealers nationwide with access to videos they can customize for use on social media, digital advertising and television.

On Thursday, art and technology company Waymark said it has partnered with Ford Direct to provide Ford and Lincoln dealerships with free, custom commercials.

With those commercials, Ford and Lincoln dealerships can update their audiences on how they are adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, for businesses of all sizes in various industries, Waymark has designed a series of free COVID-19 response templates.

Waymark and FordDirect are offering custom video templates for free because of the ongoing pandemic, to help dealers quickly inform audiences of new developments, initiatives, and updates.

Waymark founder and chief executive officer Nathan Labenz said all U.S. auto dealers have a message they need to communicate immediately.

“Dealers recognize that video is the right medium to reach their customers, but might feel like creating high-quality video content is currently out of reach,” Labenz said in a news release.

Labenz continued, “We want dealers to know that it is easy for anyone to make engaging, custom videos without any kind of editing or production expertise. It is important to us to support the entrepreneurship and business community right now, which is why we are providing these resources free of charge."

Waymark says that as consumers stay inside and delay high-value purchases such as new cars, auto dealers are feeling the economic effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The company sources auto analyst Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley as predicting sales could slip by 9% this year.

Waymark also sources J.D. Power in stating that local dealers are feeling the effects of new car sales declining 55% during the first two weeks of April.

The FordDirect Video Marketplace includes original content from Ford's recent brand campaign, Built to Lend a Hand. Dealerships can use that content to reach their local markets with personalized copy, colors, logo, and images.

In response to the pandemic, Ford is helping dealers communicate new efforts and programming, including “test drive from home” promotions and online retailing. For many dealerships, Ford is also covering the costs of those new adaptive services.

“Having tools that allow us to pivot quickly in times of crisis is absolutely critical,” said Ford Motor Co. digital retail director Trisha Habucke.

Habucke continued, “Dealers have had to rapidly change their business with new initiatives to support customers during this crisis, and we're committed to helping them adapt with resources like these videos so they can develop timely messaging.”

Waymark is also a member of the Facebook and Instagram marketing partner program and has been recognized in the platform's “Automotive Playbook for Dealers.” Waymark and FordDirect created the templates for auto dealers to adhere to Facebook's recommended strategies. The company said the templates are ideal for social media advertising on mobile and desktop.

The free templates are available at