This ad is all over the place. For one thing, it’s a car ad that shows people happily Rollerblading and riding the subway. Weird. The ad also flicks at the idea of fuel conservation (in that announcer’s line
“a car shouldn’t just use energy”), but the car is not a hybrid and its fuel efficiency is just so-so.
The oddest part by far, though, is that the spot
as it opens
masquerades as an iPod ad. There’s the iPod, clear as day. Center of the frame for several seconds. But this isn’t an iPod ad at all. Why the misdirection?
“We’re clearly going after the 25- to 35-year-olds,” says Linda Perry-Lube, car communications manager for Ford. “And this plays into that generation’s love of technology and their love of music. Also, the iPod is so iconic that people stop to watch the ad.”
Yes. Because people think it’s a new iPod ad. And iPod ads are often fresh and entertaining. When it turns out to be an ad for a midsize sedan, I imagine that people mostly lose interest.
The problem with abandoning any level of relevance to the actual product you’re trying to sell in your advertisements is that the betrayed viewer immediately asks, “Hey Ford, as long as you were busy non-sequiturizing, why didn’t you just go all the way and link the Ford Fusion with naked girls? Or naked girls holding iPods? Maybe they could be standing up through the sunroof, bouncing up and down.” Which is a much better idea, and would definitely sell more cars. After all, everyone knows a nice looking car is never going to get you an iPod, but might just get you a shallow, superficial girl!
Still, Ford’s advertising tactic is as pitiful as it is innovative. We at the Consumerist have never heard of any company trying to sell its product by advertising another. Anyone out there remember any similar ploys from different companies? Let us know in the comments.