And you thought Sunday's Super Bowl commercials were dumb...
If you caught the first quarter of the New York Giants' 21-17 win over the New England Patriots, you probably saw a spot from American automotive giant Chevrolet entitled "2012," in which a group of dudes meet up in the aftermath of the end of the world, as the Mayan calendar predicted. All of them happen to be driving Chevy Silverados, while their friend, Dave, who didn't make it, is said to have been in a Ford at the time.
Not surprisingly, the folks over at Ford were none too happy about this playful marketing jab from General Motors, their biggest and most bitter domestic rival.
So, they summoned their inner Dan Gilbert and, as Automotive News describes it, sent a nasty letter to GM:
"Ford demands that Chevrolet immediately cease and desist from making any unsubstantiated and disparaging claims regarding Ford's pickup trucks," Matuszak wrote. She demanded that GM not run the ad and to "permanently remove the commercial from its website, its YouTube and Facebook pages and any other internet sites," according to The Detroit News.
"If Chevrolet does not comply with the above terms prior to the start of the Super Bowl, then Ford will take all appropriate steps to enforce and protect its reputation," the letter said, according to the report.
Chevy's pot shot at Ford—fair or foul?
No word yet as to whether or not the note was written in Comic Sans.
Joel Ewanick, GM's chief of marketing, took Ford's hissy fit in stride:
We stand by our claims in the commercial, that the Silverado is the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickup on the road. The ad is a fun way of putting this claim in the context of the apocalypse. We can wait until the world ends, and if we need to, we will apologize. In the meantime, people who are really worried about the Mayan calendar coming true should buy a Silverado right away.
You tell 'em, Joel! If Ford doesn't want to get kicked around in front of hundreds of millions of folks who fit perfectly into their target audience, then they should pony up the big bucks to run their own ads during the Super Bowl. After all, it's not like Chevy was the only car company that dropped some serious dough to push product on the NFL's expensive time. Kia, Acura, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Lexus, Honda, Toyota and even Fiat got in on the act.
Of course, none of those car makers took direct pot shots at their competitors.
Still, if Ford wants to win the advertising war, they'll have to set foot on the battlefield first.
Or better yet, just manufacture better cars.