What was designed as a “man-on-the-street” style commercial for Ford Motor Co. turned into a potent political statement when F-150 owner Chris McDaniel, asked about the importance of buying American, explained why Ford was the company for him: “I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” McDaniel explained. “I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own, win, lose or draw.”
The TV spot made a splash, but the YouTube video went viral. The Detroit News reported that Ford pulled the ad from YouTube after the White House voiced concerns over its anti-bailout message. [SCRIBE: Ford responds that it posted the video on its YouTube channel as soon as it (legally) could.]
We reached out to McDaniel in this week’s Scribecast, and he reiterated and elaborated on the message from the Ford commercial – which he says was completely spontaneous and unscripted on his end. That message: “Government, whether it’s big-D [or] big-R government, is too big.”
McDaniel humanized the issue in a very powerful way. He and his wife lost their home early in the recession, he explained, after his wife lost her job. “I am not immune to what’s going on,” McDaniel said. The two had to learn financial responsibility the hard way, and wonder why the federal government and the companies it props up have not done the same.
No one came and bailed me out. We just had to cut back our expenses, reduce our cost of living, and do without a lot of things that we could no longer afford. I couldn’t eat out at lunch every day. I carried around my lunchbox for a year and a half to reduce the amount of money it costs for me to get by on a daily basis.
The issue is: at what point in time does the government pack a lunch and go to work?
But while his message is a frustrated one, McDaniel seems a happy warrior. “if I’m the messenger at this point in time, I’ll carry the water,” he said. As for Ford, “the message that they put out there, I graciously appreciate,” McDaniel said, “because it has stirred a debate in America that we need to have.”