I was shocked this week to see an ad by Ford for their Mustang. It shows a father and son in a dark parking lot. The son’s driving, he peels out, runs a bit, then stops. The father turns to him and says “That’s what I’m talking about. This is not a toy! Want to go again?” Both laughs and they peel out again.
Now I’m sure this ad strikes deep to the heart of a few fathers who want their sons to relive the father’s teenage streetrodding experiences. And, when they dragged those fathers into focus groups the ad was probably met with applause.
But what’s clear is that they didn’t test the ad with others – the moms, the families who have lost a child to being hit by a teenage driver, MADD members, and those who look for our teenagers to be law-abiding. To them, this ad is not only offensive, but it constitutes “fighten words”.
The ad has already been pulled in at least one market where recent highly-publicized teen accidents have raised awareness of the dangers of telling kids that it’s ok to drive cars recklessly “as long as they don’t get caught.”
Want to judge the spot for yourself? It’s the one with the grinning man’s face.
This ad is just another in a recent trend towards offending one market segment while seeking to attract another. Carls Junior’s Paris Hilton adwas one we recently commented on.
Sephora has recently done the same thing with coffee cups with a lipstick mark on the rim, making them appear to have been used.
Frankly, I don’t get it.