The Upside of Competition

Ford got a chance to shine this week by playing off Cadillac’s recent widely-panned homage to American materialism.  Check out both ads back to back:

That Ford scored some cool points by using an afro-clad black woman touting sustainable farming is a:

a.   wonderful example of the power of american multiculturalism

b.  a cynical way of using women, people of color, and        environmentalists to shill for a multinational corporation

c.  a calculated way of using issues people care deeply about to market product to women, minorities and working class folk

d.  yes

Hint: Ford created the ad, hitting three demos with one fresh face, and even built a brand new Youtube channel called “Upside” in response to Cadillac’s script. They landed over 2000 news stories and nearly a million views in one weekend.  Caring, or calculated, or both?

I’d say this isn’t the last upside ad we’ll see from Ford.  Be on the lookout for the accompanying interactive website; the hashtag #Upside is already treanding.

Author: Susan X Jane

Susan X Jane is a diversity educator, speaker, and trainer and coach. A former professor and media literacy activist, she now consults with organizations looking to make sense of our current cultural shift. She thinks a lot about media and race…a lot...and writes and speaks about media…and race... and encourages everyone she meets to think about the way our identity shapes our experiences, ideas, and beliefs about the world. If you're reading this, she wants you to think about it too. Want to talk about it? Let's go.

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