Category Archives: Strategic Communication

Cadillac vs Ford Ad: Talking about Brand Personality

I enjoy how Ford benefits the momentum from the controversy stirred by Cadillac ELR Hybrid Coupe ad. As you probably have known, Cadillac published a provocative video ad to promote its brand new Cadillac Hybrid Coupe. The ad starred actor Neil McDonough as a rich guy doing monologue around his expensive house.

The ad is able to deliver the values of American work ethic and ambition. Neil McDonough describes Americans as “crazy-driven, hard working believers who do bold things like go to the moon.”

He also says:
“It’s pretty simple. You work hard, you create your own luck, and you’ve got to believe anything is possible. As for all the stuff? That’s the upside of only taking two weeks off in August. N’est-ce pas?”

Things get very interesting when Ford jumped in. A month after Cadillac published the ad, Ford published an ad about its brand new hybrid car too. The ad, clearly directed to mock Cadillac ad, follows the same style. Ford decided to use Pasho Murray to do a monologue similar to Neil McDonough. Pasho Murray is a real woman who founded Detroit Dirt, a company that turns waste into compost and sells it to people who want to create urban gardens.

In the ad, she questions why Americans aren’t like other countries who buy locally grown food. She also says that entrepreneurs are those who crazy enough to try to make the world better.

“It’s pretty simple. You work hard, you believe that anything is possible, and you try to make the world better. You try. As for helping the city grow good, green, healthy vegetables? That’s the upside of giving a damn. N’est-ce pas?”

Talking about Brand Personality
Which ad do you like? Both have distinct character and personality. Aside from the controversy, its a nice start to talk about brand personality. Millward Brown created a Brand Archetype Diagram. The diagram helps me picture the many facets of brand personalities.

Brand Personality Archetype

There are 10 personality archetypes: Joker, Seductress, Rebel, Hero, Wise, King, Mother, Friend, Maiden, and Dreamer.

Millward Brown then give example how brands can fit into these archetypes. Apple, for example, is The Dreamer who is creative and different. IBM is The King who is dependable and wise.

In terms of digital, these brand archetypes helps us to create Brand Persona that will be translated into Content Direction. Brand Persona will be the compass when we create contents in many platforms.

I will talk more about Content Marketing probably in the next posting.