The Downside of Upside

Soapbox time!

I have mixed feelings on the parody ad. Yes it’s brilliant and Team Detroit, Pashon Murray and Ford deserve a fist bump for capitalizing on a lightning rod of Rogue’s Cadillac ELR commercial. Your father’s Oreo’s Superbowl content marketing strategy is in the rear view mirror after this one…

But I was taught some pretty valuable lessons working for the Blue Oval with the first being don’t get into street fights with the competition and the second being don’t get into street fights with the competition.

Counterpoint, counterpunch, however you want to defend it, Ford knows Cadillac won’t acknowledge them in response – what a nightmare if they did! Besides, you can count on Fox News picking up the baton and turning this into a class warfare story soon enough, and maybe that’s the point. Ford, the people’s champ vs. Cadillac, chariot of the elite. I just hope they realize that the MSRP on a Ford CMAX Energi is just about equal to that of a Cadillac ATS. Let the Bourgeoisie bourgeois!

So what do I know? I know karma kind of sucks. Just ask Hyundai how that Save the Asterisks campaign came back to bite them in the butt. Yes it’s fun to tease every now and then, but you better be prepared for the consequences if you do.

I guess what bugs me, is that we have enough good things to discuss in our industry that we don’t need to throw dirt (even if it’s Detroit Dirt) on our competition. As auto OEM’s and agencies, we’re living in unprecedented times. Our cars are that GOOD today! It’s easy to take a swipe at the ELR spot. Ford’s spin was creative and disruptive and deserves admiration for putting Pashon Murray front and center. There’s no buy behind it (yet) and it’s making its way through online blogs, news destinations and message boards. KPI wise it will be reported as a success.

But I don’t know how it aligns with Ford’s mission statement and values. The one I held pretty close to my heart from the day I joined to the day I left:

Enjoy the journey and each other; have fun – never at others’ expense.

*Note: This was originally posted on my facebook page. I decided after a myriad of conversations over the last 24 hours, to paste it onto my blog for further discussion beyond the walls of my social network. 

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