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Watch Ford's Righteous Rejoinder To That Smug Cadillac Ad That Everyone Hates

With a much discussed ad, Cadillac leaned into 'Merican attitude. Now, Ford responds with a more forward-looking vision of America.

Do you work hard to make the world a better place or to buy a bunch of stuff?

If a lot of us are honest with ourselves, it's a little from Column A, a little from Column B. But that doesn't stop this new Ford commercial for the C-MAX model from giving a good old-fashioned, open-handed slap to the face of perennial competitor General Motors.

GM's much discussed (and mostly hated) recent Cadillac spot featured a man wandering through a beautiful house saying all Americans' hard work and short vacations add up to a certain moral (and overall) superiority over our global neighbors, not to mention a bunch of cool expensive stuff. Meanwhile sustainability consultancy and advocacy group Detroit Dirt founder Pashon Murray counters with a different take on the motivations and results of hard work. While still boasting about American work ethic and ingenuity, in the new spot, from agency Team Detroit, Murray also wonders why Americans aren't more like other countries who buy locally grown food.

A Ford Spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press the spot wasn't calling out Cadillac. "I don’t think we’re mocking a competitor. We’re trying to showcase positive work being done in our community."

But c'mooooon. Another thing Americans are good at is a little competitive trash talk and this is a Grade A example of that particular skill.

See Cadillac's original spot below.

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17 Comments

  • This is not just about comparing two brands: both perfectly make their way to target: on one hand the male self-sufficient "successful" WASP (big pool, house, silent studying kids, younger wife) and on the other hand the cool "transitioner start-up entrepreneur" (woman, strong altruist values, making sense in its jobs). Opposed? They are just the same. Stick to the values of the target group. Whatever they may be.

  • Ab Contador

    The funny thing is that the Ford commercial is just as smug, just in a different way. Kudos to Cadillac for saying some of the things people think but cannot say.

  • Detroit Dirt nailed it. They set a new benchmark for being an exceptional person, i.e. giving a damn about someone and something other than yourself. Cadillac will always be an old boys' ride representing those who care only about themselves.

  • Frank Chimento

    Jeff, stop drinking your last name... NO ONE hates the Cad commercial. At least no one that is American and works for a living. Ford's commercial targets people that can't afford to own a car anyway because they all joined the Peace Corps after watching the commercial. The rest of us are paying for the organic food that lady grew, while out on a date with Ford guy's newest ex-girlfriend on our way to the gas station to buy some foreign oil for our Escalade. Americans work, make money and buy stuff... that's what we do... among all the other things we do that are also bigger and better than everyone else. Stop biting the hand that's been feeding you your whole life and just grow a pair.

  • Brian McDermott

    Wow, Frank. If Jeff's drinking beer, you appear to have drunk ALL of the Kool-Aid! Before you expire with the rest of the Conspicuous Consumption cult, would you please consider that times and circumstances DO change, and hanging on to old ways too long is even worse for a country than it is an individual? Your attitude might have been fine in the 60's and 70's, but in 2014 it is highly problematic.

  • Too derivative. I'd be more interested in the Ford ad if it had an original script, instead of just doing a cover version of Cadillac's. I think Ford missed a big opportunity here.

  • Daryle W. Hier

    The Ford ad was typical pimping. I'm not a big fan of most advertising, but I thought the Cadillac ad was fine. And who says 'mostly hated'?

  • Marcus Goodyear

    Hilarious. Jeff, what do you give a damn about? And what's the upside to your giving?