Adventures in Advertising: That Ford Mach-E Ad With Clark Griswold Lacks Laughs
While on the subject of holiday ads, I have another beef with a different automaker than yesterday.
Today’s target: Ford.
Like practically everyone, I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It might be my favorite Christmas movie. And I can see why Ford would choose to base an ad around Clark and Ellen Griswold to promote the Mustang Mach-E EV.
I even applaud Ford for getting Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo to partake and play Clark and Ellen in the ad. Too bad neither Johnny Galecki nor Juliette Lewis seemed interested. Or Randy Quaid, for that matter.
The ad, if you haven’t seen it, recreates the scene in the movie in which Clark, with an assist from Ellen, finally gets the Christmas lights to work. In this case, the Mustang’s charger also lends a hand. It’s clever and creative and would make for a great ad. Just one problem – it’s also supposed to be funny. And it isn’t.
Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.
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