Brand Strategy Attack: Ford Repositions Cadillac for Phoniness in Must-See Video

In Branding News by DistilityLeave a Comment

For those that live in the trenches of brand warfare, Ford’s recent response to Cadillac’s repulsive “Poolside” advertising campaign is golden. It clearly indicates the power that brand positioning can have when used to its fullest.

Cadillac’s Poolside: A Quick Recap

Poolside features actor Neal McDonough extolling workaholism, consumerism and rich-guy jingoism in the service of Cadillac’s new 2014 ELR electric-hybrid coupe. Unfortunately for Cadillac, all this hard work has taken some serious heat from the blogosphere.

This isn’t the first time Cadillac has tried to separate itself in the luxury market via its American point of difference. It’s just that this particular attempt is – by far – the most deserving of ridicule.


Enter Ford with the Ridicule

Last week, the Ford Motor Company unleashed an ingenious brand positioning attack on Cadillac with a YouTube parody of Poolside called “Upside.” It features environmentalist and activist Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, in a shot-by-shot antithesis of Poolside.

Here, Murray makes the case for a different definition of American success – one that is also better suited to selling the 2014 Ford C-MAX electric-hybrid sedan.

Brand Positioning at Work

These videos remind us that positioning is about more than just your brand on its own. It’s about how your customers perceive your brand relative to the competition. If you have a strong competitor (or in the case of Cadillac and Ford, another strong industry player) against whom you can build your own position – go for it!