Hybrid ad wars heat up as Ford parodies Cadillac's 'poolside' spot

Ford is going head-to-head with GM in the plug-in hybrid marketing wars with a near shot-for-shot parody of a recent Cadillac commercial.

The Caddy spot, known in the ad game as “Poolside,” first ran during NBC’s Winter Olympics broadcast, and features actor Neal McDonough as a self-described crazy, driven, hard-working believer living the American dream, with all of his stuff, including the $75,995 Cadillac ELR, being the upside of not taking August of from work like some people in other countries.

Reaction to the message was mixed (Is he patriotic? Egotistic?) But it gained far more attention than the handful of times it ran on TV would suggest. To date, it has over 1 million views on YouTube.

Ford’s take comes with a dramatically different tone.

It stars Pashon Murray, the owner of Detroit Dirt, a composting outfit that supports urban famers, who extols the global virtues of recycling and locally-produced foods and says that “helping the city grow good, green, healthy vegetables is the upside of giving a damn” as she gets into a $33,745 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid.

Strong words, but only for the web. A Ford representative says the company doesn't plan on buying any time for the ad on broadcast TV, adding that it's as much a celebration Detroit Dirt’s work, an organization supported by both Ford and General Motors, as it is a commercial for the car.

Your move, Chrysler. N'est ce pas?