An Ode To Arseholes

Like a lot of people who work in advertising, I have a love-hate relationship with the industry. When I see work that entertains, informs, inspires, delights, enriches and – in some cases saves – people’s lives, I feel proud that I spend my life using creativity for commercial and, sometimes, social means. Work like Samsung’s Bridge of Life, Pampers Unicef, BHF, Nike+ Fuelband fits into this category. I’m fortunate enough to work at an agency that creates big, bold, intelligent and meaningful work.

But the flipside to that positivity is work that puts crap ideas or products out there. Work that tries to leverage fear, jealousy, greed. Work that makes the world a shittier place. Work like the ad above, for the Cadillac ELR. This heinous celebration of being a total dickhead would be funny if it wasn’t so cynical and hateful. It’s like the Genesis and Huey Lewis and The News-loving sections of American Psycho but without the knowing humour.

As this second division Gekko dashes past his wife and kids to change into his expensive-but-crap suit, I thought to myself that the whole thing would’ve been a smidgeon more palatable if the talent was Ray Liotta instead of this charmless Liotta wannabe. At least real Ray would have some clout and charisma you could get on board with. Perhaps the makers of the ad simply weren’t “crazy, driven hardworking believers” so Ray turned them down.

By the time our comedy capitalist gets to his stupid Cadillac, by the time he’s dragged the good name of my hero Muhammad Ali into his web of bullshit, by the time he’s told us that America got “bored” of the moon but will be the only nation to go back there, I’m so viscerally hacked off with his idiotic, racist and factually incorrect diatribe that I don’t think it can get much worse. But it does…

First, Patrick Bateman’s dead-behind-the-eyes cousin goes postal with his bullshit machine gun, spraying us with clichés like “Work hard…create your own luck…gotta believe anything is possible.” Then he goes back to his idiotic paean to being a rich, stupid ’80s throwback, reminding us that he earned his crap house, crap car and “all the stuff” by only taking two weeks off a year. Unfortunately, while he thinks we’re sitting there drooling with jealousy over his “stuff”, we’re actually thinking, How fucking stupid must you be to be mega rich and only take two weeks off a year?!” Epic fail, dickhead.

Then, to top it all off, in a fitting sequence that takes punchable smugness to previously uncharted heights, our friend mutters a line in French (he can parlez Francais! He’s clever and cultured, see!), winks and leaves us with the bitter taste of his dud philosophy in our mouths. Worst ad of all time. N’est-ce pas?


About antmelder
Executive Creative Director at Host/Havas Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

3 Responses to An Ode To Arseholes

  1. Rachael says:

    Would the target audience not find this offensive?

  2. Rob Hackett says:

    What a cock. Where’s the baseball bat; sorry cricket bat so I can smash his prick American face in. Calm down Rob.

  3. antmelder says:

    Hi Rachael. Aside from a tiny niche (the admittedly quite lucrative ‘utter dickhead’ demographic), I think the audience they’re trying to reach would find this absurd. Their response is likely to be ‘OK, I’m NEVER buying one of those cars.’ Interestingly, a friend of mine works for the agency network who did this; he says it looked far better in script form than the finished piece. Tone makes a world of difference.

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