Advertising can be creative and clever and often misleading. So, I'm going to rant a moment on this Cadillac commercial: 2014 Cadillac ELR.
I think we all smile at the flippant remark about
no longer going to the moon because we're bored. We like the romantic
notion of exploration, inquisitiveness; it's curiosity that drives us in
so many good ways. It's the "what if" kind of thinking that keeps
imaginations active. But more likely, the reality here is that we're no
longer on the moon because it didn't offer efficient means for exploitation and profit. While one person moved on to explore more
fascinations in the universe, the majority moved on to what pays.
So, as the
character in the commercial breezes past all his wealth, as if he
doesn't care about it, I suspect instead that the wealth (and even the
advanced hybrid car--after all, it is a Cadillac) is what defines him,
rather than astronomy. Usually very curious, scientific types of
minds are hiding at a messy desk surrounded by microscopes and computer
screens and have little interest in fluff. Money gets behind that
curious innovator because it wants to grow and sees potential growth in
innovation. There can be excitement in that too and creativity (look at the fun of this ad), but all
that halts immediately if the money isn't growing. What drives each is
different, I think.
I did find this bit of optimism about the
commercial from thinkprogress.org: "...proof of how far these [hybrid] vehicles have come in
the public imagination. Seeing environmentally beneficial scientific
advancements as awesome and consumptively desirable rather than as
effete seems like real progress." Because that's the only way to get
some people to be socially or ecologically responsible.
I'm not saying I didn't smile a bit at some of the notions, because, we were
raised with that work ethic, the drive, the pushing forward (go west, young man). But we also know the toll an uncontrolled push can take on what lies before it. Romanticism needs
reality checks too. Does this character's boastful two weeks off a year take into consideration the family the ad poses to resemble security and success? Or his chance to actually be in nature, which might
have better alerted him to the need for the hybrid car if money hadn't
lulled him instead? Does he buy a Cadillac for each kid who turns
sixteen and will never understand the lives of the people building the
cars, because there are too many fun distractions? If someone said to
him, hey, we found an alternative fuel source on the moon, would he be
back there after all?
I think it's the money that keeps this one curious. And arrogance, not confidence, resides in his walk. In art and literature, we use wrappings to convey our ideas as close to our truths that we can. If a person feels coerced, falsely swayed, the wrappings are of a different sort. Truth or coercion: creative minds are clever.