In the World

America's worst impulses now come in green

Wow. Here's a commercial aimed at folks who think a month-long vacation sounds horrible, especially if it means suffering the indignity of driving a Honda or not living in a McMansion. In other words, it's aimed at lots of Americans:

From Rod Dreher:

This is not a parody. It is the triumphalist American ideology in its purest, most distilled form. And yet, I think this is an absolutely brilliant commercial. Seriously, I mean that. The kind of person who would buy a Cadillac is the kind of person who would take this to heart. I find the screw-you-Pierre brashness of this ad to be refreshing, in a way; it ought to be shown to foreigners to tell them that this is how many, many Americans think about the American Dream.

Yup. The ad first aired during the Olympics, a particularly provocative context in which to be all like "other countries suck." And did you notice that it's for a plugin hybrid, the new ELR? That must be because Cadillac is super concerned about the environment and wants to push the idea that the real American Dream includes not cooking the planet into oblivion, right?

Not quite. Cadillac's marketing chief told AdAge he swapped the model in for another in order to make the commercial "a little more socially palatable." Sure, maybe a little.

Steve Thorngate

The Century managing editor is also a church musician and songwriter.

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