I don’t own a TV (streaming all the way), but I’m always interested car ads to see what tricks advertisers use in their efforts to make us want to spend a lot of revenue on a new car.

So when I saw Ford launch a new ad yesterday – with a decent amount of shadow cast on a competitor whose name starts with T and ends with a, I was all-in. Let me take you through it and share some thoughts.

You can see the ad in all its glory:

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But let’s take a closer look:

It starts with a pleasant touch of a snark. It shows footage of a hand scrolling on a smartphone with the comment: “At the moment, it may seem that the only people who matter are the noisiest…” Who could you think?

Then he continues, “Those who want to tear things down and then fly off their personal spaceships when things get tough,” A video of a rocket taking off fills the screen.

God, if you can’t tell from the shadows, I’m not sure we can be friends.

The ad uses a hashtag # FORD for Builders. The rest of the ad is dedicated to profiling Ford workers, profiling a culturally and gender-diverse cohort of people working in their own name. The narrator says that Ford assembles more vehicles in the United States than other car manufacturers, which means local jobs.

The narrator continues: “… we have 182,000 people and they are building.” And goes on to conclude: “You may not know their names, but these people get up every day to move us all forward.”

So what impact will advertising actually have? Honestly, I am not fully aware of its goals. But I have some thoughts on how companies are compared:

Difference in leadership

Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford, is for Ford to succeed. He has no side effects – unlike Elon Musk, Musk not only signed up to buy Twitter this month, but also split his focus between Tesla, SpaceX, The Boring Company, and Neuralink.

But which is better: single focus or diversification? Leadership legacy comes with its own weight, but cross-vertical gains, such as research and development, from investing heavily in multiple industries are also nothing to smell about.

sentence: I suspect that the only focus prevails over the distraction approach (but one can be convinced otherwise):


Okay, so Tesla’s marketing is basically that Elon posts nonsense on Twitter, and journalists and analysts write articles about it every time he does. Free advertising anyone?

And that’s even before he pledged to invest $ 44 million in investor money to buy Twitter.

By comparison, Ford runs ads like this.

sentence: Lord, this is nonsense; who needs a marketing department when you have Twitter?

Working conditions in Ford

We can assume that the advertising promotion for workers in the US casts a shadow over Tesla, which opened its Gigafactory in Germany earlier this year, and this week the company announced plans for second factory in China.

But so is Ford factories outside the United States in countries like Germany, Thailand and China, so pointing your finger is a bit unnecessary.

But I think the bigger problem is attracting workers. We saw this with Tesla’s AI Day last year.

Universum Employer Branding Specialist has published its list for 2020 of the most attractive employers for American students. In a list of 100 computer science companies, here’s how car companies do it:

  • Tesla – 5
  • BMW – 51
  • Toyota – 60
  • Rolls Royce – 62
  • Daimler / Mercedes Benz – 86
  • VW – 93

Ford and GM are noticeably absent. What’s worse is that graduates prefer to work for Uber (ranked 35) and Lyft (ranked 39).

sentence: The automotive industry is known for its complaints about working conditions. Most of the members of the Automobile Workers’ Union work for Ford. But unions are a pretty old school and all companies are struggling to attract high-tech talent. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Ford has to do a big old recruitment campaign.

Okay, what is math?

In terms of sales, Tesla is still the dominant player in the EV market. Let’s look at a few amounts – I hope I did it relatively simply.


Tesla Model S second place for the best-selling used electric car in the United States