Many of us were subjected to a certain Cadillac commercial during the Olympics, featuring a macho protagonist living the American dream. To launch the luxury car company’s first electric vehicle, Cadillac took the position of showing the virtues of hard work and capitalism at its best, even going so far as to poke fun at the laid-back lifestyle of European countries. Aside from being an outlandish portrayal of wealth in North America, the egocentric title character, played by Neal McDonough, lists off all the joys of working hard, making money, and consuming.
Fast forward a few months, and we finally have a much more realistic portrayal of living in today’s America with Ford Motors’ parody of the “Anything is Possible” commercial. Instead of using a recognizable actor, Ford’s spoof opts for a real-life star – the exact opposite of Cadillac’s – featuring Pashon Murray, the founder of a Detroit sustainability advocacy group.
Both commercials feature EV models, the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid and Ford’s C-MAX hybrid, but differ in the lifestyle they represent. While the Cadillac ad touts all the benefits of the all-American life, the Ford ad lists all the criteria of being a modern-day entrepreneur who’s both eco and financially responsible.
According to Cadillac: “Other countries, they work. They stroll home. They stop by the cafe. They take August off. Off. Why aren’t we like that? Because we’re crazy-driven, hard-working believer, that’s why.” While Cadillac positions America as working harder than other countries, Ford’s version is far more believable, identifying global citizens as “crazy entrepreneurs trying to make the world better.” So Cadillac’s message clearly indicates Americans work hard for “stuff,” whereas Ford shifts the mandate toward “making the world better.”
So what do you think of the new EV commercials by Ford and Cadillac? Does Ford’s satire feel forced or is it a great way for the company to deliver a message that actually resonates with its audience?
Watch the commercials here: