Ford uses a suicidal astronaut to sell cars

I forget what the heck Mrs. CD and I were watching last night when this add for the new Lincoln MKS came on. The reason I can’t remember is that the ad was so astoundingly wrong and tone-deaf that it melted those few memory cells I have left. Visually it was just the usual slow-motion showy pictures of a car but it was set to an incredibly down-beat cover of David Bowie’s Major Tom.

In case you don’t remember, here are the lyrics:

Ground Control to Major Tom
Ground Control to Major Tom
Take your protein pills and put your helmet on

Ground Control to Major Tom
Commencing countdown, engines on
Check ignition and may God’s love be with you

This is Ground Control to Major Tom
You’ve really made the grade
And the papers want to know whose shirts you wear
Now it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare

“This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

For here
Am I sitting in a tin can
Far above the world
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do

Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much (she knows!)”

Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear….

Other than the fact that Major Tom has a melody that everyone in the 40+ age group will recognize, I cannot fathom what in the world made this seem like a soundtrack to sell cars by. Maybe they really are that depressed in Detroit. This makes the ubiquitous use of Lust for Life, Iggy Pop’s upbeat ode to heroin, look smart. At least Lust for Life was an upbeat cult-hit that everyone didn’t already know the lyrics to. Major Tom is probably known word-for-word by most angsty people who were between 12 and 30 in the 1970s. We all know how the story ends on this one.

Not sure who to be more amazed by, the folks at Berlin Cameron Detroit who proposed it or the folks at Ford who approved it. Although Ford and the agency would like you to believe the message is “reach higher” (the link goes to the official website), in fact the message is far more disturbing: Lincoln … When You Want To Go Out In Style.

Wow. Now that’s collateral damage.