• Jan 20, 2008
The Catch-22 with advertising these days is that someone will undoubtedly be offended if your campaign is clever enough to be memorable. Ford of Canada came up with such an effort for the Escape, showing the CUV wearing a bumper sticker with the phrase "drive it like you stole it," and the tagline "Built for life in Manitoba." Innocuous enough, you say? Apparently not.
We can't say for sure if it's just people looking for things to get offended over, or if Canadians are just hypersensitive to Manitoba's reputation as a car theft hotspot. Either way, Ford has responded to the politically correct whining and pulled the ad while offering copious apologies. While car theft and traffic accidents are no laughing matter, especially when innocent people are tragically injured, you can't blame a car advertising campaign that uses an exceedingly common phrase for inducing an already rampant problem. We fail to see how people commiting criminal acts have anything to do with the automaker's sales efforts. Certainly, the message sent by the advertisement is that the Escape is tough enough for Canada, not that it's the car of choice for boosting. It'd be nice to see a company under unreasonable fire just offer up something like "whatevs, get a thicker skin." It's advertising, after all, not the cure for cancer. Of course, it would also have been easy enough to say "Drive it like you hate it" and send largely the same message.

Thanks for the tip, Richard!

[Source: CBC]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Double backlash, now Ford has shown it has no balls.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "The Catch-22 with advertising these days is that someone will undoubtedly be offended if your campaign is clever enough to be memorable."

      Obviously the writer missed the ads for the Mini the past couple years. Probably the most clever, witty and fun advertising for any product sold in this country.

      That campaign did make fun of drivers of gas guzzlers, but of course the people that could potentially be offended by such things would never pay attention to a MINI ad anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Likely the people whose family members were killed by stolen cars find less humour in this than you do
        • 7 Years Ago
        Lighten up, it's just a damn advertisement. Just let it go.

        People ARE oversensitive. How boring of a life must someone have to get all bent out of shape be something to trivial?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah - they're clearly telling people to drive recklessly and ignore all rules of the road. :rollseyes:If you're old enough to drive - which for the most part is at the age of 18 - you should have enough brain cells to figure out the point of the ad and even if you don't, why the hell would you do something just because you saw it in a magazine ad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I love how this ad caused a backlash. Almost as if people are straight out saying they're complete idiots and will act in accordance to what a magazine ad says.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd be more offended if I were to come across that asshole who does OxyClean commercials. You know the really loud and obnoxious dude with a drawn on beard. Yep same fella who had an unfortunate incident with a samurai sword on HSN.

      Anyways, it is not a god given right not to be ever offended. And honestly car companies, and other advertisers must stand up to those that complain. Will it cost them sales? I doubt it. Negative perception of the company? Very few perhaps, but I think it will attract way more people with common sense who would respect the company for being logical.

      Lastly, if you don't like it, change the channel.
        • 7 Years Ago
        IT HAS THE POWER OF OXYGEN! CLEAN UP THIS BLOODSPILL IN JUST SIX SHORT SECONDS!
      • 7 Years Ago
      People get a life there are worst & more important things out there to get upset about!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is LIFE in Manitoba????

      I always thought it was a sterile wasteland, similar to the surface of Mars (but colder).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wasteland? Winnipeg is one of my favorite cities.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Actually, I grew up in Alberta. So you're close!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Has it occurred to anyone that it is both possible and plausible that the whole thing, including the apology, was all planned to achieve publicity and awareness? PR ploys like this are not uncommon.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This was probably an add that was produced locally and shown only in the Winnipeg/Manitoba market, yet we are turning it into an international crisis, throwing insults across the border at our friends, and accusing the Ford Motor Company of having no balls.
        What a pathetic bunch of immature children.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hate political correctness. Lighten up people and remove the rods from deep within your @$$3$!

      At least Dodge didn't pull the Caliber ads that winers found offensive.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Drive it like you stole it" is a silly slogan anyway.

      If I stole a car, I'd be driving it as carefully and inconspicuously as I possibly could, not all wild and fast and reckless.

      But then again, I'm not a car thief, so I don't know what the mindset is like. Maybe I should vacation in Winnipeg next year and take notes.

      ;)

      • 7 Years Ago
      Also Ford has had a big problems with the security of some of its full size trucks so maybe they shouldn't be talking.

      As far as that slogan is concerned I would think you would apply that to a sports car because driving an Escape at 9/10 or 10/10 can't be any enthusiasts desire.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Canadians should feel lucky that we even let them drive Fords. What a useless country.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dearest Mango, here's hoping your sister bites instead of swallows next time you two are on a date.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, they can keep all that useless oil and industrial diamonds.

        While they're at it, they can quit building Fords, too (...and Chryslers and GM's).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Canada is a useless Country? I think not.

        Aside from the obvious--lots of people live there and it has its own culture--but lots of the products we buy come from there. And many of the few things still made in "America" are bought there!

        Wood comes from Canada, and so does the Canadian Bacon on your pizza! And TV shows, and...

        Most people in the U.S. can't find Canada on a map! Too bad the people testing for the ability to locate Canada didn't test the ability to find California or Florida! I wonder whether those folks could find the U.S. on the same map?

        The concept of a useless country is truly weird. As are those who believe in the concept.

        Sincerely,
        Master Dave
        • 7 Years Ago
        I began writting an intelligent reply ... then I figured you probably couldn't understand it anyway so I pressed undo and decided to sink to just one level above you.

        Get lost ! Or as we say in some parts of Canada ... va donc chier 'sti de gros épais.
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