The controversial Cadillac ELR commercial features a middle-aged man (actor Neal McDonough) boasting about America's work ethic and consumer culture. In contrast, Ford's ad stars a young, philosophizing Detroit environmentalist.
The piece was spearheaded by Ford's ad agency, Team Detroit, for the Ford C-MAX. At the center of the ad is Pashon Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, a sustainability consultancy and advocacy group, who's first seen standing by mounds of dirt and mud, and later is shot in a narrow apartment hallway.
"The C-MAX is sending a message about where we're going in the future and caring about conserving resources. This is a movement about changing Detroit and practicing sustainability. That's why they came at me," Murray told the Detroit Free Press, explaining why she was chosen by Team Detroit.
The parody had more than 50,000 views as of Friday afternoon on YouTube. The Cadillac ad had more than 1 million.
In the video, Murray says, "We're crazy entrepreneurs trying to make the world better. Some people might think we're nuts. Whatever. Me? I collect food scraps from restaurants, manure from zoos. Manure. Do you know why? To keep this stuff out of landfills and use it. It's pretty simple. You work hard. You believe that anything is possible and you try to make the world better. You try."
Like the Cadillac commercial, she ends by rhetorically asking the audience to agree, using the French phrase, "N'est-ce pas?" which means, "Is it not?"
In the "Poolside" ad — so named because it begins at a beautiful, private swimming pool — McDonough says, "Other countries, they work, they stroll home, they stop by the café. Th! ey take August off. Off. Why aren't you like that? Why aren't we like that? Because we're crazy, driven, hard-working believers. ... As for all the stuff, that's the upside of only taking two weeks off in August."
Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio described the video as "lighthearted."
"I don't think we're mocking a competitor. We're trying to showcase positive work being done in our community," she said.