awkwardly

Friday

Why Ford? Why Bud Dry?

My friends ask me, Mike, why Ford? Why now?

I'm paraphrasing that commercial because I'm too lazy to look up the actual words. Dude is walking through a Ford showroom as if he's the most laidback salesman on staff, or a customer who loves Ford so much that you don't have to pay him to be a spokesman. His delivery has a little bit of Shatner in it, pausing in odd places.

His response to his friends who ask "Why Ford, why now?" is that you can get a rebate in the government subsidized Cash for Clunkers program. But the program isn't unique to Ford. You can get that at any car company now, for a few more minutes. That answers why now, but not why Ford.

After the explanation, he repeats as if in summary, "Why Ford? Why now? [Answer:] Why not?"

It reminds me of the pointless but more poetic marketing catchphrase: "Why ask why? Try Bud Dry." Each word is one syllable, with an ABA, ACA rhyme scheme (if you count each word for its rhyming potential instead of the word at the end of each line).

They can't give a solid reason, because there is hardly anything substantial to distinguish one toxic drink brand from another. You should try it because we thought of a clever rhyme. Try it because people who ask "why" are people who think too much.

Ford isn't very poetic in their case, but they've nailed the pointlessness. Who is going to be convinced by "Why not?" The other weird thing is that after the spokesman finishes speaking, they flash to a screen showing the tagline repeated. This time it's spelled out "Why Ford. Why Now." Without the question marks, it seems like a title, as if they have explained at length why you should buy Ford now. They didn't even try. Maybe it's supposed to be forceful or manly to have a lot of "hard stops" in the middle of your tagline, similar to the Shatner-tastic way he talks. It looks more like a grammatical error.

Here's another rant about the commercials from a columnist at Edmunds.com: 'Perhaps its just me who drew this conclusion, but do you really want the guy from "Dirty Jobs" [Mike Rowe] next job to be representing your product? To me, it says, "We couldn't get anyone else and he was literally the only person willing to do such an apparently terrible task." Now, Mike Rowe is likeable and a believable spokesperson -- certainly better than Howie Long -- I'm just not sure about the potential subliminal message it says.'

I wouldn't say being a spokesman for Ford in general is a horrible task. They haven't gone bankrupt lately or accepted massive bailouts like some others. And this columnist praises Ford in the rest of his article, making a much better case for why you should buy Ford than just "why not?" The reason it's a dirty job no one else would want to do is that the ad copy sucks so bad.

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