One would think that companies would learn from Disney’s disastrous forays into national political controversies. For a moment, it looked like they might have, as many major corporations declined to weigh in on the leaked SCOTUS opinion on abortion. On May 1, Ford Motor Company released a new ad attacking Elon Musk, Tesla founder and future Twitter CEO.
Although the ad doesn’t directly refer to Musk, it is obvious who Ford is referring to. Right now it could seem like the only people who matter are the loudest. Those who want to tear things down and then fly away on their personal spaceships when things get hard. But we’ve got 182,000 people and they’re building.
Gizmodo reports that the ad has already been made available on YouTube. It will however be broadcast nationally at the Kentucky Derby. It’s interesting to note that Elon Musk isn’t one of those people who like to tear down things, but rather build them. Tesla accounts for 75% of the US electric car market.
However, Ford lost $3.1 billion in the first quarter and its profit was only 2.5 percent.
Ford must think it is the best time to pursue Musk. We have all seen other horrible marketing campaigns, such as Gillette’s attempt at selling razors by linking all men with the #metoo movement and questioning “toxic masculinity”.
Note from the marketing department: Be aware of your audience. However, “Best a Man Can Be” was the worst. Gillette was criticized for the ad, which resulted in a loss of $8 billion.
Most people didn’t like the Ford commercial. Here are some comments from YouTube viewers who watched the ad.
- I was 3 weeks from buying a new Bronco… Elon Musk seems like a good man, maybe I’m wrong.
- This ad does not lift up your builders. Ford can do great things without attacking someone else. I’ve driven an F150 for years and I do NOT like the negative nature of this ad. In America all ideas are welcome. Competition is a good thing.
- I own two newer Fords (New Ranger and Newer Escape EV)and this ad is very disappointing – why attack another great US innovator? If it wasn’t for Elon, Ford probably wouldn’t be making their so/so quality EVs. This ad actually makes me want to buy a Tesla to support Elon. Ford, you can do better – please reconsider this ad. You can’t make positive vibes for your products by negatively attacking others for their success! Maybe create an Ad noting that you are building on Tesla technology with your own? Stand on his shoulders vs. kicking him in the knees! Very poor choice – probably the last Fords I will own if this keeps up. Very disappointed.
- Attacking another innovator is not the way to make your business look good…Coming from a family of ford owners. I’m not happy with the tone of this ad.
- Thank you for this ad. You are showing you are “woke” which has simplified my life. I will NEVER buy ANY Ford product again.
Disney and Gillette learned the hard way that you cannot wake up until you’re broke. It is unlikely that the ad will bring in any new Ford customers. However, I have a Ford Explorer and will not hesitate to trade it in when it comes time.