There were three ways to view "Poolside", Cadillac's recent ad for the ELR electric car:
1. Wow, that's a nice-looking car.
2. Wow, that's a nice-looking car and it's eco-friendly.
3. Wow, that guy in the ad is a schmuck.
Unfortunately for Cadillac many viewers went with option #3. (A few more might've done so if Cadillac had used the vehicle initially intended for the clip, which was probably the 2015 Escalade.) Now, Cadillac is trying to recover with a new, informative ad for the ELR, full of facts, figures, and car-on-road footage, explained by an engineer.
That's great, but the brand damage has already been done, and Ford is capitalizing on that with "Upside", a clever new ad for the C-MAX Energi.
The clip is great for several reasons:
1. It riffs on the dialogue of the Cadillac ad, de-schmuckifying it and bringing it back down to earth. (Way down to earth, in fact. The ad talks about manure, which might be a first for a car commercial.)
2. It riffs on the look of the Cadillac ad, mimicking the shots, the tracking, and the slickness of the original.
3. Instead of choosing an actor/spokesmodel, Ford recruited businesswoman Pashon Murray to star in the ad. Murray is the founder of Detroit Dirt, "a compost company working to turn forgotten parcels of land in Detroit into urban farms that not only feed, but revitalize our community". So, instead of the hard-working suburban yuppie, Ford's ad features a hard-working, Detroit-based, social entrepreneur -- one who's clearly meant to serve as a symbol of Ford itself.
Our take? We didn't hate the Cadillac ELR ad as much as others did, but we have to admit, the tone was way off. Ford deserves credit for getting it right -- and for turning around a pitch-perfect parody so quickly.
For another take on this clip, check out our pals at Green Car Reports.