Why do we work so hard?
Because hard work means "anything is possible"--and maybe you'll get a nice pool and a fancy car out of it.
At least, that's the answer if Cadillac's "Poolside" ad for its ELR range-extended electric luxury coupe was to be believed.
But Ford has different ideas. In an excellent parody of that very polarizing Cadillac ad--called "Upside"--the main character suggests that a better reason for working hard is "to make the world better".
The hard-working ethos is the same, but the attitude isn't.
Where Neal McDonough's character portrayed a uniquely and stereotypically American view of the determined, driven businessman thinking only of himself, Upside presents a friendlier and more generous aspect of hard work: making a business but improving the world as you do it.
To that end, it's all about manure. No, really--the central character makes and sells dirt to help people grow "good, clean, healthy vegetables".
And rather than "stuff" being the upside of "only taking two weeks off in August", those healthy vegetables "are the upside of giving a damn".
Brilliantly, the entire commercial is shot in the same way as the original, from the same angles and with very similar dialogue, but spreading an entirely different message.
And the vessel for the parody? Ford's C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid hatchback.
Not nearly as sexy as the ELR coupe, perhaps, but a car that neatly echoes the video's message: The rewards may not be as grand, but you're making the world a better place.
Notably, the 'Upside' video wasn't released through Ford's official YouTube channel. Instead, it's listed under a dedicated 'Upside' channel--which has only a single video.
This does make us wonder whether it's an official Ford production--we've seen plenty of clever adverts in the past that are little more than the thoughts and thumb-twiddlings of independent advertising agencies looking for a viral hit.
Whoever had the idea, though, we applaud them.
Perhaps Ford may even sell a few more C-Max plug-in hybrids on the back of such a neat riposte to Cadillac's arrogance.