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March 29, 2014 12:24 AM   Subscribe

It took a while, but someone has finally lampooned Cadillac's much-derided "Poolside" commercial starring Neal McDonough. And not just any old someone: the Ford Motor Co.
posted by flapjax at midnite (106 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Atlantic: Ford to Cadillac: There's Another America Out There
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:35 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


As always. Do. Not. Read. The. Comments.
posted by m@f at 12:38 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


OMG, fabulous parody. The original actually seems like a parody to begin with. Yikes!
posted by Bella Donna at 12:38 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


I think that ad drove me slowly insane throughout the course of watching the Olympics.
posted by pemberkins at 12:39 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm really glad to hear that Cadillac ad was derided, because the first time I saw it I wanted to kick that guy in the face. I'll tell you something, I could go the rest of my life without cults of personality around boxing and guitars if it meant I could get a whole month off to do whatever I wanted every year.
posted by nushustu at 12:44 AM on March 29 [31 favorites]


Like you poor deluded fools have ever had two weeks off.
Total. Let alone August.
posted by fullerine at 12:46 AM on March 29 [25 favorites]


Why you would want the face of Robert Quarles from Justified plugging (fnar!) your electric car and the virtues of fuck you consumerism says plenty about the target market here.
posted by Wolof at 12:52 AM on March 29 [14 favorites]


Puritan Work Ethic shitbomb by drunk-ass Illuminati creeps.
posted by planetesimal at 12:53 AM on March 29 [16 favorites]


As always. Do. Not. Read. The. Comments.

Wow, holy shit, you are not kidding.
posted by KathrynT at 1:05 AM on March 29


I like to think of the Cadillac ad as the final hallucination of David McNorris from Boomtown as his career, alcohol problems and the person he killed come back to haunt him.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:13 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Hey, speaking of irritating car ads wherein you can all but hear the Don Draper-wannabe pitching their client!
posted by dumbland at 1:21 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Oh. I had flipped away from the poolside commercial and didn't realize it was selliing Cadillacs. Until today I had assumed it was about the pool maintenance guy and erectile dysfunction.
posted by surplus at 1:22 AM on March 29 [23 favorites]


Maybe I'm just drunk, but the Cadillac ad is far better, and actually, pretty cleverly done. I appreciate it not because I like Cadillac or I like its arrogant and exclusionary message, but because it's memorable and very cleverly targeted toward Cadillac's customer base.

If you don't like the ad, you're probably not the type to buy a Cadillac anyway... you're not interested in a needlessly massive old man car that drives like a boat. (And I'm with you, by the way. Cadillacs are grandpa cars.) This ad wasn't for you and Cadillac doesn't care that you hate it.

And if you are an older libertarian-esque conservative graying patriotic American baby boomer who buys into the Protestant work ethic and owning a pool and 2.4 children and collecting piles of useless crap, you'll love the ad, and you're right in Cadillac's demographic. Utter home run.

Plus, the parody ad's actress just can't match David McNorris's screen presence and chops, and the "dirt" angle is confusing and poorly scripted. Bzzzt. Not funny or clever enough.

Not to mention that it's hilarious to see Ford put out an ad to try to position itself as a radical alternative to GM.
posted by Old Man McKay at 2:31 AM on March 29 [23 favorites]


I'm not sure that demographic exists, Old Man McKay. I'm not sure it ever existed. Certainly it doesn't obtain for any of the older folks I know whom you seem to be suggesting it's targeted toward. I'd be interested to see if there are such people in the world. I've gathered from Cadillac's faltering sales that they've basically run through the couple dozen angry old Floridians who that kind of thing appeals to. Most Americans at least pretend to a higher level of awareness about the world. Including that cohort.
posted by koeselitz at 2:39 AM on March 29 [7 favorites]


Cadillac doesn't care that you hate it.

That would not seem to be exactly true.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:46 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


Other than the Cadillac commercial airing roughly 5 million times during the Olympics, I liked it.

It's funny, it stood out, it's very 'Murica. At the very least, it's better than yet another car driving through LA or doing doughnuts in the desert.
I assumed it was basically self-aware parody anyway.

The parody is.. not so good. I understand it's not a professional actress, but it's sort of... I dunno, too righteous for me.
posted by madajb at 3:06 AM on March 29


To be honest, I thought they were both bad ads. Neither of them told me jack squat about the cars they were trying to sell....unless your annual income was in the upper 6 figures the Cadillac ad just makes you resent the brand (plus I kept thinking...That's that asshole from Desperate Housewives, isn't it?), and, the Ford ad left me with thoughts of cow shit, dirt, and eating food from dumpsters....

bad, bad ads....

I'm going to buy a Subaru....
posted by HuronBob at 3:08 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


I'm going to buy a Subaru….

I'll stick with public transit.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:16 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


Joe Isuzu needs to upgrayedd to Joe Subaru and meet this challenge for dominance
posted by lordaych at 3:22 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


My nearest public transit is about 25 miles to the nearest bus stop... I guess I could float down the river to Ann Arbor and catch a bus there...but getting back home is going to suck!
posted by HuronBob at 3:25 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


Car ads aren't supposed to tell you anything substantial about the cars. Hell, most of the time car ads aren't even targeted at people looking to buy a car, they're targeted at people who already own that car to make them feel good about having bought that car so they will buy one again, because brand loyalty is huge in the car world. Being 'Murican is pretty much the biggest thing Cadillac has going for it so might as well flog that.
posted by Authorized User at 3:30 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Do. Not. Read. The. Comments.

Mostly just a single guy being some kind of parody of a conservative online commentator, right? Who in his rants about foreigners and greens completely missed that Cadillac hired a European exec to sort out their marketing, and among the first things that guy did was to change the poolside ad to feature their electric car.
posted by effbot at 3:36 AM on March 29


You think that people who believe The Century of American Consumption hasn't ended are going care about facts?
posted by fullerine at 3:59 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


For the record, I loved the Caddy ad: fast, funny, well-shot and razor-sharp acting....oh, and I'm greener than St. Paddy's Faux Irish balls. Funny is funny.
posted by lometogo at 4:15 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


I read an interesting commentary yesterday about the Cadillac ad, pointing out that it's actually a real triumph for liberal types. Because this smug, arrogant, workaholic, buy-all-the-things guy has an electric car. They're not just for hippies anymore.

I still hate it. The first time I saw it, I kept waiting for the ending when he'd be like, "Just kidding. Of course we're not like this. That's why we want this [reliable, dependable, reasonably priced] car. And then instead he just kept upping the ante on his awfulness.
posted by vytae at 4:17 AM on March 29 [7 favorites]


It's an unanswerable question, but I wonder about the self-awareness of both the Cadillac ad and its expected audience. Because it's genius parody, but awful if intended seriously, and where it sits isn't clear to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:34 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


While there is a lot worth hating about the Cadillac commercial, like how it erases people of color, the poor, and just anyone not as whitebread and born on third base as the actor, but there is something neat and characteristically American that it sort of almost captures.

In Leuven, the town I live in, there is an ancient University from the 1400s that had a beautiful library filled with priceless manuscripts that the Germans burn down on purpose during the first world war. The incident was a big part of what brought us into the war along with the sinking of the Lusitania, and when the war was over, American universities and charitable societies chipped in together to rebuild it and fill it with useful and rare books. When the Germans came back during the next war they burned it down again, but what gets me is that immediately, even as the war was just starting, Americans were already getting together again to rebuild it a second time as soon as the Germans were encouraged to leave again. So as soon as the war ended American money rebuilt the library using the same plans - gorgeous flammable woodwork, big beautiful delicate windows, and all - and filled again with more rare and priceless books from many of the same universities. That library is, in addition to a celebration of Belgian architecture and learning, a statement of the unshakable, blindly stupid, and I think beautiful American faith.

Its that spirit of FUCK YOU, OF COURSE THIS CRAZY PLAN WILL TURN OUT FINE, SHIT IS GONNA GET DONE that is so characteristic of us. Of course it doesn't not always turn out fine, just ask any Iraqi not receiving briefcases full of cash, but it built an atomic weapon from scratch in four years,* it got humanity to the moon, it powers the innovation is silicon valley, it made a couple of amateur bicycle mechanics at Kitty Hawk fly, it built Hollywood and funds absurd budget innovation in film, it dug the Panama Canal, it made plans like this, it attracts scientists and innovators from around the world to our shores to get shit done, and as much as we complain about our civil service they work harder and get more done than civil servants pretty much anywhere else in the world because of it.

*To do it we built FUCKING RIDICULOUS cyclotrons capable of SEPARATING ISOTOPES using all of the silver in our treasury and then built the largest building in the world to house the machinery for a method EVEN MORE RIDICULOUS when that wasn't efficient enough. We then developed Teflon because nothing else could hold the caustic materials needed, built reactors to generate ELEMENTS we figured we'd need that were up until then only theoretical, and we made the whole damn thing work the first time. Not only that but we build a second COMPLETELY DIFFERENT bomb in parallel, you know, just to be sure.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:42 AM on March 29 [53 favorites]


I was just happy to learn that we were going back to the moon. TO BLOW IT UP
posted by Brocktoon at 4:54 AM on March 29 [5 favorites]


I'm going to buy a Subaru….

I'll stick with public transit.


I walk everywhere. Naked, except that I've slathered myself with so much topsoil that I carry enough semitropical vegetation around with me that I actually clean the air as I walk and have a deeply negative carbon footprint.

Do I win?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:05 AM on March 29 [91 favorites]


there is something neat and characteristically American that it sort of almost captures.

The reason you have to quantify that with an "almost" is because it captures the flip-side of that American can-do attitude - with its evil twin, the Puritan Must-Do Work Ethic. That kind of "okay, dammit, we're gonna rebuild your library for you because we believe that's important" is indeed wonderful, but this is capturing the "you want to actually take a vacation? What are you, a wimp?" attitude instead.

A lot of people think that the way to bring about the "can-do" is to force everyone into a "must-do". But it isn't. A lot of times if you let people take a break, they are much more willing, and even eager, to come back with their can-do restored.

This is an ugly thing about America that I've really had a problem with. I stay in a lot of youth hostels when I travel, and when I get into a conversation with the people in my room about how long we're traveling, I make a point of asking them what their country's national vacation policy is - and then telling them what ours is. "We get only two weeks," I say, "and that's only if your employer wants to give that to you. It's not a national law, it's optional." Invariably, they are shocked - and then say "you know, this suddenly explains so much about Americans."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:07 AM on March 29 [45 favorites]


fullerine: "Like you poor deluded fools have ever had two weeks off.
Total. Let alone August.
"

Hey, I got four months off this winter. Oh wait, it was because I was unemployed. Nevermind.
posted by octothorpe at 5:12 AM on March 29 [25 favorites]


The parody doesn't repudiate the message of the 1st ad. It embraces that message and shows how it works for a much wider swath of Americans. Both show driven successful people with style wearing smart clothes and driving smart cars. Sure, there is a standard of living difference on display in both spots, but both people seem to be driven by passion and hard work. They are both successful and are enjoying the spoils of that success. Maybe the only difference is that we don't know what the Cadillac guy does for a living. Perhaps he is a cabinet member in the Obama administration?
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:24 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


See, another good thing about being a maniacal curling fan is that GM did not take maniacal curling fans seriously enough to foist that piece of stuff off on us.

Also, what the hell happened to Neal McDonough? It looks like they left him in the dryer until he turned into Ed Bishop. Mind you, the last time I saw him, he was the gay TOTALLY NOT GAY Lt. Hawk.
posted by sonascope at 5:24 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


If you thought that Cadillac ad was creepy, try watching it as a fan of Justified. You'll swear you can hear the guy in the trunk sobbing.
posted by Legomancer at 5:24 AM on March 29 [14 favorites]


Ugh. Cadillacs are just Chevys with a bunch of tacky trim screwed on them. How many nice old Cadillacs do you see? None, because they fall apart. The fact that they've been promoted as a premium brand when they haven't been anything of the sort since the early 1960's is a testament not only to the effectiveness of advertising but also the gullibility of their marks.

Also 2 week vacation? I haven't had one of those since I risked losing my job by making an un-scheduled extension to a Mexico trip in 1989. I honestly didn't care if I got fired, which was the only reason I even chanced it. It is not by choice that it hasn't happened since -- I just happen to live on the labor side of the money/labor income divide.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:26 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Wow. I cut the cord this winter and managed to completely miss that Cadillac commercial via other channels. How embarrassingly bad. And I love me some Neal McDonough, but even he can't save it from the horrible arrogance. Choosing to poke fun at countries that have healthy work/life balances is just. . . painful. It's a slap in the face to everyone that has to work those hours to barely make ends meet, not to buy luxury items. Hell, with the shift in the workforce and the new normal of high unemployment, it's a slap in the face for people who aren't able to work those hours even if they wanted to. I'm gobsmacked. This seems like it's Cadillac' "let them eat cake" and I'm more surprised there weren't beheadings involved.

I briefly thought it was meant to be a parody, but it's just too, I dont know... Takes itself too seriously and rubs salt in far too many wounds.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:30 AM on March 29 [27 favorites]


"I walk everywhere. Naked, except that I've slathered myself with so much topsoil..."

Photos?
posted by HuronBob at 5:34 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


First, let me get this out of my system because I'm a child of the 60's and 70's...She rocks that beautiful fro like goddamn boss.

Now, the ads...I loathed that Cadillac ad the very first time I saw it. Mostly because I'm a fan of Neal McDonough. Seeing him in such a snide, ugly, we're-the-one-percent ad was disillusioning. It would have been brilliant parody had it been an SNL sketch, but it's a motherfuggin AD. Yeah, ads are creative and entertaining, but you never, ever, ever, ever want to paint your intended audience as self-absorbed assholes. Ever.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:38 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


My wife went to theatre school with Neal McDonough and acted in a play with him, and she has asked me to let you all know that he is not that asshole, but a very fine actor. (She also is appalled by the message of th Cadillac ad.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 5:40 AM on March 29 [11 favorites]


So as soon as the war ended American money rebuilt the library using the same plans - gorgeous flammable woodwork, big beautiful delicate windows, and all - and filled again with more rare and priceless books from many of the same universities.

Unfortunately, that was a product of an ancient and discarded American mindset. The America of today allows its own libraries to close down because they aren't profitable.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:45 AM on March 29 [23 favorites]


Personally, if I'd drive my five year old Honda Fit for the rest of my life if it meant that I could have every August off.
posted by octothorpe at 5:46 AM on March 29 [24 favorites]


The Ford ad isn't great, but after watching the two ads I identify more with Ford as a brand. It reminds me of those PC ads which associated PCs with the lovable John Hodgman and Macs with a smug Justin Long.
posted by Area Man at 5:53 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


"Unfortunately, that was a product of an ancient and discarded American mindset. The America of today allows its own libraries to close down because they aren't profitable."

Libraries in the US do have painfully absurd challenges, but before we get too reflexive with the self-hate,
  • There are more public libraries than McDonald’s in the US - a total of 16,541 including branches
  • 68 percent of Americans have a library card
  • 75 percent of library card holders used their library cards in 2008.
  • Americans check out more than 2 billion items each year from their public libraries; the average user takes out more than seven books a year
  • posted by Blasdelb at 6:01 AM on March 29 [25 favorites]


    > I'll stick with public transit.

    That is my dream. At least I have bicycles, I guess.

    > ...that they've been promoted as a premium brand when they haven't been anything of the sort since the early 1960's is a testament not only to the effectiveness of advertising but also the gullibility of their marks.

    No, Cadillac is still a premium brand. It's a premium that fewer people are into these days, but that doesn't make it less primo.

    You have to segregate your understanding of brand and product you see.

    The cars, themselves? I'd argue that they've never actually been good for anybody but hobbyists and aficionados. It's just distinctive styling and nostalgia that fostered the reputation of their 1950s models. That plus the Detroit auto industry facing no meaningful competition from foreign companies until the 1970s, so most Americans had no basis of comparison.
    posted by ardgedee at 6:05 AM on March 29


    Wouldn't two weeks off in August be lovely? If I took two weeks off in August, that would be all the days off allowed per year. We get 10 days PTO, use it as sick days or vacation days it's all the same to management. Better not get sick after you've taken your days off!

    Management has entirely different rules.
    posted by readery at 6:06 AM on March 29 [9 favorites]


    it built an atomic weapon from scratch in four years...

    Another flip side to this attitude is that it overlooks the pain caused to people who never asked to be involved.

    It also has a nagging habit of consistently deriding countries that do the same things it does. France gets hit on for nuclear testing, not complimented. France gets criticized for being rude and snobbish; when Americans do it, it's go get 'em character and an honest sense that "we're the best".

    Believing one is the brightest light also means casting the largest shadow.
    posted by fraula at 6:26 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    Photos?

    Okay.

    Couldn't find a good picture of Swamp Thing
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:35 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


    I think it's more than a little ironic that GM and Ford -- companies that have historically fought every increase in efficiency and environmental standards for cars; whose political lobbying for cheap oil to feed the unquenchable thirst of their massive SUVs can be viewed as a significant driver of two wars, increasingly alarming signs of ecological disaster and middle eastern terrorism; and who are trying their hardest to kill Tesla -- are trying to one-up and out-eco one another with clever advertisements for their hip hybrid cars.
    posted by slkinsey at 6:41 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


    Do I win?

    I live in your dirt.
    posted by pracowity at 6:46 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


    I also thought that the character delivery wasn't as sharp in the Ford ad, but then I found out (via the comments, which are mostly good) that the narrator/star is not an actor, but the founder of Detroit Dirt. (The website for Detroit Dirt has been borked due to the heavy traffic, which is great for them).
    posted by jb at 6:51 AM on March 29 [14 favorites]


    Do I win?

    This obsession with winning is unhealthy. You need to relax. Take the month of August off, maybe.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:57 AM on March 29 [19 favorites]


    But August is the most crucial season for body-borne biospheres!
    posted by drlith at 7:22 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


    Management has entirely different rules.

    I worked at a place that had one week of vacation and 3 (?!) sick days. It was an e-commerce company that was roughly segregated by warehouse, customer service and "professional" staff (not my name, that was the office title of the cushy offices jobs). I negotiated for more vacation before taking the job, and it became an open secret that'd how they dealt with giving more valuable employees better vacation time, and left the customer service and warehouse staff with paltry time off. Even if you were foolish enough to not negotiate more at the get go, (think younger, less experienced employees) you would know to by the first yearly review.

    Meanwhile, customer service and warehouse employees always had the standard 1 week vacation plus 3 days of sick leave. And that's if they were even full time, which very few were. So Swine flu roles around, management is worried about the impact it will have - their solution? Well you can use your vacation days as sick days! How generous. And they spent a lot of time encouraging people to stay home if they were sick but didn't change the policies they had of giving employees "incidents" if they did say home sick (points that accrued against the employee). This was also the first time I heard that was even a thing.... Because absolutely no one in the "professional" building actually dealt with those rules.... I'm sure you can imagine, no one from customer service and the warehouse actually took additional time off when sick and the flu spread like wildfire.
    posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:29 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    I have that combined vacation and sick day PTO thing too which is doubly stupid since I work for a hospital system. You'd think that a hospital would want to encourage people to not drag their infectious asses to work when they're sick but keeping employees from getting anything for free is obviously more important.
    posted by octothorpe at 7:44 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


    Couldn't find a good picture of Swamp Thing
    posted by djeo at 7:47 AM on March 29


    >> Maybe I'm just drunk, but the Cadillac ad is far better, and actually, pretty cleverly done. I appreciate it not because I like Cadillac or I like its arrogant and exclusionary message, but because it's memorable and very cleverly targeted toward Cadillac's customer base.

    > I'm not sure that demographic exists, Old Man McKay. I'm not sure it ever existed.


    Ah, enjoy your sweet, sweet ignorance. May it never be pierced.
    posted by salvia at 7:56 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


    And if you are an older libertarian-esque conservative graying patriotic American baby boomer who buys into the Protestant work ethic and owning a pool and 2.4 children and collecting piles of useless crap, you'll love the ad, and you're right in Cadillac's demographic.

    Until you remember that Cadillac is part of HUSSEIN Obama's union pension Government Motors.
    posted by dirigibleman at 8:09 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


    Never seen this Cadillac ad before (okay, I skipped the Olympics) but sorry, Mr. McDonough, only Dennis Leary can be Dennis Leary.
    posted by JoeZydeco at 8:21 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    Wow I thought the Cadillac ad was terrible.. but faced with the choice between these two I will gladly take the original. Talk about a grating voice.
    posted by ReeMonster at 8:29 AM on March 29


    “Never seen this Cadillac ad before (okay, I skipped the Olympics) but sorry, Mr. McDonough, only Dennis Leary can be Dennis Leary.”

    Well, if Louis C.K. is to be believed, only Denis Leary can be a played out, one-note caricature of a bit he stole from C.K. decades back. I’d link to the YouTube where he lays it out, but it’s from Opie & Anthony, so yeah, no. But it’s easy to find.
    posted by context adventure at 8:34 AM on March 29


    The owner of the company I used to work for had two brand new Cadillacs. Dropped out of college and the military. Takes month long vacations every year. Comes into work for about an hour a week (surfs porn). Has a child out of wedlock that he actually forgets exists for months on end. Tea Party member and financial contributor. Defines the notion that success is often built on the backs of the rest of us.
    posted by Brocktoon at 8:40 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


    I mostly walk through the Pliocene if I have to go any distance. It's got a nice view and the air is great! It means that carbon footprint has been erased before the dawn of recorded history. It's true that I occasionally step on a butterfly and erase entire nations from reality and the time travel has to tap the energy of dozens of exploding stars, but they're unsightly and an almost inexhaustible resource, so who cares? Eventually, I might erase Cadillac.

    I thought both ads were sort of silly, but the first was kind of repellent. Also, it seemed that his suit existed in a different, and slightly smaller, dimension than the rest of the commercial.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 8:41 AM on March 29 [6 favorites]


    Aren't both ads saying the same thing - buy this car because it will express your values? And Ford getting you to argue that yes, buying our car means you are not that 'arrogant' America, but this 'make-the-world-a-better-place' America means you've already lost the battle? Maybe that explains why it's such a poor ad, it only needs to be intelligible enough to capture the Cadillac hate.
    posted by doobiedoo at 9:01 AM on March 29


    Blasdelb: "Its that spirit of FUCK YOU, OF COURSE THIS CRAZY PLAN WILL TURN OUT FINE, SHIT IS GONNA GET DONE that is so characteristic of us. Of course it doesn't not always turn out fine, just ask any Iraqi not receiving briefcases full of cash, but it built an atomic weapon from scratch in four years,* ... it made plans like [Operation Plowshares, a great idea to use nuclear bombs for construction] ...

    *To do it we built FUCKING RIDICULOUS cyclotrons capable of SEPARATING ISOTOPES using all of the silver in our treasury ... and we made the whole damn thing work the first time. Not only that but we build a second COMPLETELY DIFFERENT bomb in parallel, you know, just to be sure.
    "

    Here is a Frood who has learned to stop worrying and sass the bomb.
    posted by Reverend John at 9:26 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    you're probably not the type to buy a Cadillac anyway... you're not interested in a needlessly massive old man car that drives like a boat. (And I'm with you, by the way. Cadillacs are grandpa cars.)

    Have you actually seen a Cadillac in the past, oh, 25 years? This doesn't exactly drive like a boat. (Seriously, here's one at the Nürburgring in case you don't believe me.)
    posted by asterix at 9:49 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    Every time that Cadillac ad comes on, I leave the room.
    posted by deathpanels at 9:52 AM on March 29


    Doesn't Romney own a bunch of Cadillacs? They know their market, I guess.
    posted by annsunny at 10:02 AM on March 29


    only Dennis Leary can be Dennis Leary

    and that's way more than enough.
    posted by EatTheWeak at 10:02 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


    Asterix, most car guys I know regard the CTS-V as the only Cadillac worth buying, the rest is just brand appeal.
    posted by JauntyFedora at 10:03 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    but then I found out (via the comments, which are mostly good) that the narrator/star is not an actor, but the founder of Detroit Dirt.

    The delicious irony is of course that instead of being a role-playing talking head smarming about entrepreneurial spirit, she actually is an entrepreneur.

    The disappointing side of this is that while McDonough has at least been given his props as an actor, we have yet to even point out that her name is Pashon Murray and she's worthy of an FPP in her own right.
    posted by psoas at 10:10 AM on March 29 [15 favorites]


    Yeah, the Caddy ad was great. The Ford ad was terrible.

    Not buying either of those piece of crap American cars.
    posted by 256 at 10:15 AM on March 29


    Wow. Maybe because I'm not american, but I'm left with two choices on the Caddy ad: It is brilliant satire, or a deeply offensive, American exceptionalism based incredible piece of jingoist shit. Oh, wonderfully acted and produced, but the message is just, well, unbelievable. I don't think Cadillac has a sense of satire. I am actually shocked.

    The Ford only works as a counter punch to the Caddy one. Otherwise it would be inexplicable.
    posted by Bovine Love at 10:18 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    I have a hard time thinking the Cadillac ad is satire. Comedy doesn't seem to fit their brand in the slightest. The CTS-V wants to compete with Porsche. This is serious business.
    posted by Brocktoon at 10:26 AM on March 29


    The thing about a luxury car is that the only thing that they really have to sell now is the image. It's not like they're safer or faster or last longer than cheaper cars. Cadillacs cost two to four times more than my (previously mentioned) Honda but it's not like they do anything much better and certainly not four times better than my car. You're not getting to work or Trader Joe's any faster in an $80,000 car than you are in an $18,000 one.

    On preview, definately not satire. Trolling maybe, but not satire.
    posted by octothorpe at 10:31 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    they've been promoted as a premium brand when they haven't been anything of the sort since the early 1960's is a testament not only to the effectiveness of advertising but also the gullibility of their marks

    Status isn't about quality, it's about cost. If rich people wanted quality cars of low cost-to-benefit, they'd drive Toyotas and Hondas. But then nobody would notice them, and all that "hard work" will have been wasted.
    posted by klanawa at 11:08 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    John Travolta's character from Swordfish is selling Cadillacs?
    posted by benzenedream at 11:08 AM on March 29


    Couldn't find a good picture of Swamp Thing

    Thanks! I was looking for "real life" pictures, but so many also featured the lovely but deeply distracting Adrienne Barbeau.
    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:21 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    I've been hearing people wonder if the original ad was satire since the Olympics. I've never watched it to the end, so I guess I'll never know.

    I didn't know the car was electric or even a Cadillac until this post. So yeah, really effective.
    posted by hydrophonic at 11:30 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


    And this pretty much sums it up on Cadillac branding.
    posted by hydrophonic at 11:32 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    Personally, I need a six week vacation, and we should all be getting regular three month sabbaticals every seven years.

    It's probably why used cars are my future.
    posted by john wilkins at 11:36 AM on March 29


    Both show driven successful people with style wearing smart clothes and driving smart cars.

    Buttoning both buttons of two-button suitcoat is not stylish or smart.
    posted by stopgap at 2:02 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    or a deeply offensive, American exceptionalism based incredible piece of jingoist shit

    It's this one
    posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:17 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    This thread is one of the first google hits for Cadillac pool ad bike parody, but it doesn't look like anyone has actually made such a parody yet. This is the only other parody I could find. It's fine I guess.
    posted by Xalf at 2:36 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


    Devils Rancher: "The fact that they've been promoted as a premium brand when they haven't been anything of the sort since the early 1960's is a testament not only to the effectiveness of advertising but also the gullibility of their marks. "

    Are there any "luxury" car brands that aren't like that these days? Every time I see a Mercedes or a BMW I half expect to walk around the backside and see just a bunch of plastic panelling mounted on a scaffolding made of 2x4s.
    posted by invitapriore at 2:42 PM on March 29


    The Nürburgring videon is amazing. Skip to 11:57 for the pro driver doing a hot lap. 8:12 in a 500+hp/500+ fp torque station wagon :-o
    posted by zippy at 3:48 PM on March 29


    Its that spirit of FUCK YOU, OF COURSE THIS CRAZY PLAN WILL TURN OUT FINE, SHIT IS GONNA GET DONE that is so characteristic of us.

    What rankles some of us about this kind of statement, Blasdelb, is its implication that the ability to successfully execute ambitious endeavours is somehow peculiarly or even uniquely American, and therefore a quality that the rest of the human race is rather lacking in by comparison.

    It's the insinuation that putting a man on the moon was the result of a distinctively American genius that no-one else could hope to demonstrate, and that by compairson, putting Sputnik or Vostok into space was the work of uninspired plodders or mere dilettantes, or, perhaps, blind luck.

    It's the suggestion that the Wright Brothers and the architects of the Panama Canal and the emigrés who invented nuclear warfare and Sam Goldwyn all made a sort of sui generis contribution to humanity, and that, try as they might, all the other pioneer aviators of the early 20th century, the Bletchley Park computer scientists, the eradicators of smallpox, the discoverers of vaccination, anaesthesia and penicillin, the builders of the pyramids, the Parthenon, Angkor Wat and the Great Wall, the diggers of the Suez Canal, the liberators of India and South Africa, and all the other members of the human race who have ever dared to dream of something great and succeeded, were somehow, try as they might, never quite able to attain your ennobled heights.
    posted by dontjumplarry at 4:55 PM on March 29 [25 favorites]


    Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
    posted by kirkaracha at 8:09 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


    I choose neither and pick the Honda. It'll last longer and leave less of a dent in the planet. Shame, I like Neal McDonough's work, even in this ad, and now he's going to be associated with assholes.
    posted by arcticseal at 8:37 PM on March 29


    It was a bummer to see Neal McDonough in this.
    posted by brundlefly at 1:29 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


    To see what the Cadillac ad was trying to do this Mercedes ad does it without the arrogance or need to endlessly boast.
    posted by MartinWisse at 2:09 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


    Murray's "n'est-ce pas?" is fucking perfect.

    And yes, of course the Ford ad only works in the context of the Cadillac ad. That's all it was ever meant to do.

    And yes, her hair is awesome.
    posted by maryr at 8:23 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


    It's a good parody. And Pashon Murray is a style-rocking manure-composting BOSS.
    posted by rmd1023 at 9:24 AM on March 30 [2 favorites]


    And Pashon Murray is a style-rocking manure-composting BOSS.

    Oh, shoot. Speaking of which, this was supposed to be one of the links in my post above. That's style.
    posted by psoas at 10:34 AM on March 30


    Asterix, most car guys I know regard the CTS-V as the only Cadillac worth buying, the rest is just brand appeal.

    The ATS is basically an American-made BMW 3er for 10 grand less. Cadillac is generally and historically old man garbage, but right now they are actually making a legitimate effort to catch up to the German driving experience with their sport sedans.

    That doesn't make the Cadillac EV in this advertisement NOT a Chevy Volt with tacky crap glued to it though, or redeem the rest of their lineup.
    posted by thedaniel at 12:09 PM on March 30


    "It's the suggestion that the Wright Brothers and the architects of the Panama Canal and the emigrés who invented nuclear warfare and Sam Goldwyn all made a sort of sui generis contribution to humanity, and that, try as they might, all the other pioneer aviators of the early 20th century, the Bletchley Park computer scientists, the eradicators of smallpox, the discoverers of vaccination, anaesthesia and penicillin, the builders of the pyramids, the Parthenon, Angkor Wat and the Great Wall, the diggers of the Suez Canal, the liberators of India and South Africa, and all the other members of the human race who have ever dared to dream of something great and succeeded, were somehow, try as they might, never quite able to attain your ennobled heights."
    You can put your belt back on, this kind of painfully insecure measuring contest is irrelevant to what I wrote. To say that there is a specific kind of blind beautiful madness that is characteristically American, which did things like drive Kansas farm boys who fell of a turnip truck with engineering degrees to the moon, conquer lightning, pay for and defend the recreation of modern Europe while refusing to claim any stake in it, sequence the human genome in spite of itself and rebuild that wonderfully absurd library - twice - does not say that absent or replacing that madness things like this are not possible. It simply describes the how and the why.

    Its strange how when I say similarly true things about how awesome Belgium is no one bats an eye, its almost as if with how 'boring' and 'weird' Belgium is supposed to be no one is threatened.
    posted by Blasdelb at 1:20 PM on March 30


    Its strange how when I say similarly true things about how awesome Belgium is no one bats an eye

    Yeah funny that, it's almost as if context matters.
    posted by dontjumplarry at 3:02 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


    Last year was my tenth with no TV, this year marks the tenth with no car. This car commercial could well epitomize why.
    posted by telstar at 3:35 PM on March 30


    You don't work hard enough?
    posted by planetesimal at 3:45 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


    And if you are an older libertarian-esque conservative graying patriotic American baby boomer who buys into the Protestant work ethic and owning a pool and 2.4 children and collecting piles of useless crap, you'll love the ad, and you're right in Cadillac's demographic. Utter home run.

    And that's precisely why those of us not in that demographic hate it - because the people who are in the target market are the ones mostly in charge of preserving that state of things as the status quo.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:04 PM on March 30


    In Belgium exceptionalism is not driving foreign policy, and most Belgians can pick out other countries on a map.
    posted by benzenedream at 5:30 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


    As can most Americans, to be fair. I mean, it's the part that's not America. C'mon, you're going to have to be more specific in your pot shots here.
    posted by maryr at 7:48 PM on March 30


    I've spent the last four years of my life commuting by bike and public transportation, for which I am incredibly grateful to have the privilege and opportunity, especially knowing that there are even people in my city who can't take advantage of such things because they don't have bike lanes on certain roads or the busses arrive in too large of intervals where they live, or they can't even walk to places because there aren't sidewalks. I am really glad to not have a car, to not have to pay insurance, and to not have to worry about gas and oil changes and being pulled over and other things. I do have to worry about being killed or hurt very badly on my bike, but there were no bicycle deaths in my city last year, so I am not too worried.

    I can't identify with either ad, although I enjoy the woman in the Ford ad a lot more. I'd so much rather see a catchy ad arguing for better bike infrastructure in cities, you know, like how certain European countries have? The ones that apparently don't work hard enough, and get that month off in August?

    Consider me a jaded, idealistic millennial, but I want to opt-out of the American dream and just casually ride my bike around town on my month off. I don't want to possibly be part of the 34,080 auto deaths that were in 2012 alone. I want to be able to take more than two weeks off from work a year so that I can travel and visit my friends and family and not worry about losing my job because of it. I want to do art and not have my president and others lambast me because of it. The Chrysler ad just pushes so many buttons. The guy in it reminds me of my uncle while the woman in the Ford ad reminds me of my mother. I don't want a crazy-looking modernist house that has iPads embedded in the walls to control the AC that I can run whenever I feel like it, I want to live in a quaint little apartment. I'm so sick of these depictions that if you work hard then you'll get all these crazy cool things that the future is affording us! But I'm definitely not the target audience, so it doesn't matter so much.
    posted by gucci mane at 10:17 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


    America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted
    posted by gucci mane at 11:45 PM on March 30 [1 favorite]


    pay for and defend the recreation of modern Europe while refusing to claim any stake in it


    Lolwut
    posted by stenseng at 4:31 PM on April 1


    People who buy Cadillacs are pathetic. What a waste of money.
    posted by KokuRyu at 5:41 PM on April 12


    I wonder what the people who build Cadillacs think of that ad. I hope they take a dump in every glove compartment.

    To say that there is a specific kind of blind beautiful madness that is characteristically American, which did things like drive Kansas farm boys who fell of a turnip truck with engineering degrees to the moon, conquer lightning, pay for and defend the recreation of modern Europe while refusing to claim any stake in it, sequence the human genome in spite of itself and rebuild that wonderfully absurd library - twice - does not say that absent or replacing that madness things like this are not possible. It simply describes the how and the why.

    With all due respect, what you wrote is still ignorant jingoist baloney.

    Aw, the Americans built a library? That was sure nice of them. Totally makes up for Dresden and Prague and Monte Cassino and Hiroshima and Nagasaki and everything else they flattened for no reason whatsoever.

    As for building nuclear bombs (*slow clap*) and putting men on the moon, give credit where credit is due. The Americans had as much help from library arsonists as from farm boys.
    posted by Sys Rq at 10:41 PM on April 12


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