How to (and how not to) make a dumb, jingoistic, douchey ad for an electric car

by Joey deVilla on March 28, 2014

Here’s Poolside, the ad for the $76,000 Cadillac ELR, a luxury electric car that — if you take the ad seriously — is aimed at the douchey segment of “the 1%” who are looking for their next “beater car” and are curious about electrics:

Don’t listen to the actor reading lines written by some cynical ad guy about why the US stopped going to the moon. Instead, listen to someone with a real education and a real job — real space scientist and knowledge hero Neil Degrasse Tyson, who gives us the real reason we took a break from the moon:

We discovered Earth.

In a time when income inequality in the US is reached new highs , when big politicians who killed jobs and businesses to line investors’ coffers equate low bank balances with low character, and big employers like McDonald’s are putting out hilariously tone-deaf pamphlets to help their minimum-wage employees stretch their dollar (get a second full-time job!) and advising them on how much to tip the pool boy, Cadillac’s ad comes close to needing to invoke Poe’s Law: that sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between the real thing and its parody.

In response, Ford put out the Upside ad for their C-MAX electric car, which takes the same honorable themes from the Poolside ad — America, hard work, entrepreneurship, environmentalism — and uses them in a much better way, turning the Cadillac ad on its ear at the same time:

As Jalopnik puts it:

See, you can do this kind of ad without coming off like a jingoistic sociopath. N’est-ce pas?

N’est-ce pas?, the line used to close both ads, is French for Isn’t that so?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pat March 29, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Touché – that was great.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: