Remember this guy?
Let's just say he wasn't everybody's favorite.
The ad, which aired incessantly throughout the Olympics, provoked an outpouring of criticism: Elizabeth Weiss, writing in the New Yorker, said the character seemed "vaguely sociopathic." In The Washington Post, Brigid Schulte condemned his celebration of a work culture that, she argued, is driving us to be "sick," "stressed," and "stupid." Adam Gopnik, also in the New Yorker, called it, "the single most obnoxious television ad ever made."
Where Cadillac stumbled, Ford saw opportunity. Today, Ford released an ad playing off the Cadillac spot, twisting the original message to resonate with a totally different set of consumers.
The ads run against each other like counterpoint: He is a middle-aged, rich, white, suburban guy. She is a black woman living in a small urban apartment. He praises America for being harder working than "other countries." She presents herself and "more and more" Americans as a citizens of the globe, "crazy entrepreneurs trying to make the world better." Oh, and one more detail: Cadillac man is an actor, an impression of an American. Ford lady? She's real. Her name (fittingly) is Pashon Murray, and she's the founder of Detroit Dirt. These are starkly different messages, crafted to appeal to starkly different demographics.