Ford to Cadillac – “It’s Not About Stuff”

Well that didn’t take long. It looks like Ford is the first to strike with a response to Cadillac’s “Poolside” ad previously written about here.

Ford has produced a hard-hitting ad that’s basic message is something like: “No. Stuff is not why we work hard. We work hard to create a better world.”

The star of the ad isn’t a professional actor either. It’s Detroit’s own Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt—a company that is taking Detroit wasteland and turning it into farmable land to feed the community—a far cry from the capitalistic spot from Cadillac. Take a look:


There are two interesting points to the delivery of this ad:

1. Ford used a new YouTube channel called “upside,” which could mean there are more positive message ads coming along, in addition to they may have wanted it separated from the rest of Ford content for some reason.

2. The product is barely mentioned. The “C-Max” car is an hybrid electric car, similar to the car being shown in the Cadillac video, but the star of the show here is sustainability and community, not the car.

As an extra note, It’s not as interesting, considering Ford has employed the same strategy in all of their uploads, but they disabled comments on this video.

So, this video has garnered nearly 700,000 views and it was released on Friday. That’s more than any other Ford video available…but let’s talk about the strategy:

As I mentioned before, Cadillac’s target audience is a wealthier and probably more capitalistic person, which “poolside” spoke well to. Why should Cadillac care about the opinion of people who aren’t buying their product? Does it really matter?

Ford has always gone after the more “middle-class” (which gets re-defined every week it seems) customer, and this video does a great job at engaging them.

Let’s see if it sells more cars—after all, that’s the real test, right?

Adman Scott



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