There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned brouhaha between automaker marketing departments and the latest fracas takes the Ford-GM rivalry from the drag strip to identity politics for the internet age.
On one side, we have the provocative poolside Cadillac ELR ad that aired during the Sochi Olympics. Depending on your political views, it was either an unapologetic paean to the American Dream or an annoyingly smug screed on American exceptionalism. Cadillac’s advertising director Craig Bierley told Advertising Age that the spot was aimed at those who earn $200,000 or more and have a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” that might be shopping for a $75,000 plug-in hybrid-electric luxury vehicle.
This week Ford retaliated with a shot-for-shot remake (parody?) of the ELR ad called Upside: Anything is Possible. The ad features a Ford C-Max Energi, the blue oval’s own compact MPV plug-in hybrid targeted at the plebeian masses and ringing in at a more affordable $33,745.
Instead of Neal Mcdonough, the video stars Pashton Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, a Motor City startup that gathers organic waste such as food scraps and zoo manure, composts it, and uses the resulting soil to grow locally sourced vegetables. The tone is clearly aimed towards those who fall at the bluer end of the political spectrum, and those most likely to have been turned off by the Cadillac spot.
Not since the great Mercedes-Jaguar donnybrook of 2013 have we had a such an entertaining war of the words. Watch both videos below.