Cadillac has been featuring an ad that targets the luxury car buyer. Cadillac wants the luxury car buyer to purchase an American luxury car. Consequently, the ad features a wealthy man who believes in American exceptionalism and who has a stereotypical view of the work ethic in Europe. The American deserves the Cadillac because he has worked harder than his counterparts in Europe. Therefore, it makes sense to buy a Cadillac and not a BMW or Mercedes. The marketing group at Cadillac must believe that the ad will appeal to a large number of potential luxury car buyers. The product is less important than the values that are associated with the purchase of the car.
The American featured in the Cadillac ad may seem obnoxious to many car buyers. Ford has capitalized on that reaction by running an ad that features another kind of American, who has a very different set of values, and is a parody of the Cadillac ad. It is not the Mitt Romney version of America. The target Ford customer is not the moocher described by Mitt Romney. The Ford customer is a creator who wants to contribute to a community which does not exist in the mind of the individual in the Cadillac ad. The marketing warfare between Cadillac and Ford is similar to the political warfare that we observe in America.