Many people missed it, but during the Sochi Winter Olympics there was a controversy brewing, other than Russia’s seemingly slapped-together infrastructure. Cadillac debuted a new commercial for the controversial ELR extended range hybrid luxury coupe. The commercial has been generating an increasing amount of attention since it launched, with many people calling it divisive or even downright xenophobic.
The 60-second spot, called “Poolside,” stars Neal McDonough, who has been in a number of movies and television shows such as Band of Brothers and Captain America: the First Avenger. In the Cadillac ELR commercial McDonough plays a wealthy American man who is also and ELR owner. For the majority of the commercial, the man sits poolside and walks through his luxurious house, postulating about the spoils of hard work.
More specifically, McDonough’s character puts forth the proposition that Americans are harder workers than other cultures, strongly hinting at Europe in general and France in particular, stating that workers in other countries take the entire month of August off and stop by cafes after working for only a few hours each day. The argument he proposes in the commercial is essentially that people who work hard have nice things, even though they do not work hard for the stuff.
Some people are calling the commercial brilliant, saying that it appeals to the very group that can afford and would be interested in the Cadillac ELR. Others say that it is so condescending and divisive it turns consumers off to even the possibility of purchasing the car.
For now, it seems that only time will tell what kind of an impact, if any, the commercial will have on ELR sales.