Today, much hay has been made of a Ford ad that parodies a Cadillac ad. In the Cadillac ad, a wealthy 1 percenter uses language reminiscent of Mitt Romney’s “takers vs. makers” remarks during the 2012 election campaign.
In the Ford ad, a hip do-gooder extols the virtues of real environmentalism and giving a damn, invoking the values of the Left.
Here’s what I hate: both ads are designed to appeal to our emotions–specifically the emotions that drive our political leanings (at least in today’s climate). These are both American made cars and both are environmentally friendly. But since the target audiences don’t really overlap, the advertisers have decided it’s okay to use the Foxnews/MSNBC model (both equally bad in my opinion) of divisiveness to sell a product. The Cadillac guy is kind of a dick, but he’s got a beautiful house and wife and he sounds like a Republican. The Ford gal is kind of smug and self-satisfied but she looks hip and sounds like a Democrat. They both have a hint of condescension in their voices as they lecture the rest of us on American Values. This works great for the car companies cause they can create a false feud and gain youtube hits, and those hits are designed for the eyeballs in their target demographic. In the meantime perfectly decent people with slightly differing political opinions now see one another as enemies instead of fellow-Americans who share many values despite their differences. I’m beginning to think that moderation is the most radical value in America today.