QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Rate the Ad

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Photographer Sacha Waldman in an ongoing art series for Kohler. "Elegance always strikes a chord," we're told. Is this striking a chord with you? Rate it on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer's (freshly revised) six-degree scale of excellence, with 5 being the top score: 5 World-changing, 4 Great, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Forgettable, 0 Actively Annoying. And feel free to offer your comments on the art direction, the photography, the copy, the typography, the concept, whatever. Click here to play.


They Taurus a New One.
Last week's Rate the Ad. Hey, people, have you driven a Ford ad lately ... straight into the toilet? Yes, you have. Sure, it can be argued that it's like shooting fish in a barrel, but this corporate communication isn't an obscure little flyer tucked into a stockholders' report or some such, it's a big fat ad seen in prestigious pubs like the WSJ, The New York Times and The New Yorker. Moreover, we broke a record. Longtime readers of Rate the Ad may recall the infamous "1812 tequila debacle" — a booze ad, featuring a female flasher, that pulled a truly horrendous Good/Bad Ratio of 12/88, a record that has stood for many a moon. Well, no more. The Ford Motor Co. has succeeded in lowering the Good/Bad bar to an amazing 5/95 on the Rate the Ad-o-mometer — comparing the top tiers of the scale to the bottom tiers. Among the frequent observations here: Bill Ford is, inexplicably, catching flies; this is not an ad, it's a PowerPoint slide; the CEO's faint resemblance to Al Gore, and his more than faint resemblance to any politician, are just additional strikes against him; and those twin Ford logos, one out of focus and seemingly stuck on a stick, are extra obnoxious. There are, indeed, a few people who have something nice to say about the ad's message, and those comments are included below. Anyway, here are the results.

5 World-changing 0%
4 Outstanding 0%
3 Good 5%
2 Forgettable 29%
1 Actively annoying 29%
0 The worst 37%


And here are some of our fave responses.

0 Bill Ford looks as shocked as I am at being told Ford's mission is innovation.

1 Looks like a presidential debate gone horribly wrong.

3 I think this does a good job of getting the point across. You get excited that they're trying to save you money and at the same time improve the environment.

2 I feel a church nap coming on.

3 This is the type of message that the Ford brand needs, but the photo must be of better quality.

2 This is far creepier than last week's Saw II poster.

3 For some audiences, this hits all the buttons. For others, it will put them to sleep. Still, with all the criticism carmakers get for their big SUVs, this gets the message out.

2 What this says is, We're too busy creating a new future to look good in the present.

2 This isn't an ad, it's a spread from an annual report.

2 When has the image of a CEO in a suit ever meant innovation? Don't tell me innovation, show me innovation!

1 Makes me want to drive a Ford hybrid into a lake.

1 I guess this is the brief ... so where's the ad?

0 Every aesthetically-inclined person will vow never to buy a Ford after seeing this ad.

0 There's a reason people don't proudly proclaim themselves "Ford owners."

0 Rule #1: Don't put the client in the ad. Especially if he looks like a deer caught in the headlights of 250,000 ethanol-ready vehicles.

0 You've got to be kidding. And, by the way, if you're going to use the tagline as the headline ... just do it.

0 This layout makes me want to run out and buy a brand spankin' new '87 Taurus!

2 This U-turn to green technology should have been happening 10 years ago to claim innovation and leadership. Now they're just chasing demand, desperately trying to catch up to foreign manufacturers. Sad, transparent and condescending.

0 Bord.

3 At least they backed up their assertions with facts.

1 This is the type of ad I pull out of magazines to cover the bottom of my finches' cage. Now, that's innovative.

0 Well, kerning for damn sure isn't their mission.