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Ad Nauseam: Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500

12:16 PM EST on November 16, 2006

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Vehicle: Ford Mustang Shelby GT 500

Ad title: "Germany"

Created by: JWT Detroit: "We create ideas for our clients that people want to spend time with" [sic]

Narrative: A bustling shipyard. Forklifts. Foghorn sounds. Dockworkers shouting out to each other in a language and accent that we quickly recognize from Hogan's Heroes and Saving Private Ryan as German.

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A container is loaded off of a big cargo vessel. It is opened to reveal a squat, grinning, muscular sports car with two blue stripes running down the hood.

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A male model with nearly perfect facial bone structure and two days stubble is standing next to a German dockworker. The dockworker turns to him and, in the vaguely threatening tone of a German interrogator (Ve have vays to make you talk), asks, "So, you couldn't find a car you like here in Germany?"

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Cut to scenes of the white sports car tearing down a wet, winding highway over gear-shifting and husky engine-revving noises. The highway signs are blue, not green. It's the Autobahn. Driven NASCAR fast, the white sports car blows past other vehicles like they are standing still.

Cut back to the male model and German dockworker. The model replies, "No, I couldn't find a speed limit I liked in America."

Tag line: Bold is 500 horsepower.

Analysis: Sociopathic is 500 horsepower. Unnecessary is 500 horsepower. Dangerous, irresponsible and sick-in-the-head is 500 horsepower. Society must look upon you as an outcast and social pariah with your 500 horsepower. Sorry to be a sourpuss about it. I know how great the old Mustangs were. I grew up on the legend of my Dad's '65 Ford Mustang, the beloved convertible that he got rid of in 1971, on my account, for a more sensible and family-friendly Pinto hatchback. He was wistful about that old Mustang for years and not just because the Pinto, with its exploding gas tank, turned out to be one of the most egregiously horrible vehicles ever produced by an American automaker.

The Shelby GT 500 is supposed to harken back to those good old days of that '65 Mustang and "to carry on the Ford performance torch that burned brightly under the reign of the Ford GT," says John Felice, general marketing manager for the Ford brand. Indeed, with the Ford Motor Company expected to lose $10 billion this year, the 500 horsepower Shelby is clearly the sign of a company whose best days are long behind it.

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