Water in the News

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Cadillac ‘Poolside’ Commercial
Sparks Controversy, Derision

A television commercial by U.S. luxury carmaker Cadillac — first aired during the recent Winter Olympics in Sochi — has opened a hornet’s nest of controversy and led to a clever advertising counterattack by Ford.

The Cadillac ad — dubbed the “Poolside” commercial by the press — begins by featuring a middle-aged, white male, presumably a CEO or successful entrepreneur, who surveys his luxury backyard pool and then proceeds to charge through his beautiful home, all the while lauding what he sees as Americans’ superior work ethic and unapologetic, no-holds-barred consumer culture.

It didn’t take long for Ford to launch a somewhat tongue-in-cheek counteroffensive, whose message USA Today characterized as follows: “Cadillacs are for people with pools. Fords are for people with passions.” The article continued, “That’s the theme of the newest ad from Ford, which parodies a recent Cadillac commercial that’s targeted to the affluent.”

Thus, the advertising battle lines were drawn. The swimming pool, at least symbolically, was portrayed squarely on the side that many Americans these days, rightly or wrongly, identify as the bad guys — the so-called 1% reviled by Occupy Wall Street types and many others.

Owning a swimming pool has long been part of the American dream — but at a time when the middle class is shrinking, linking pools in the national consciousness with the very rich might not be all that good for the pool and spa industry’s image.

Videos: To watch the Cadillac commercial, click here. To watch the Ford commercial, click here and scroll down. Ripples also recommends googling “Cadillac Poolside commercial” to find interesting opinions on all sides of the controversy. Note: Some Web sites may open behind this page. Note: Some Web sites may open behind this page.


 RIPPLES CLASSIC 

Scorching ‘Death Ray’ Fries Guests
At Luxury Hotel Pool in Las Vegas

October 6, 2010

First there was the incident at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at the end of August, in which some 100 people were treated for breathing difficulties after large amounts of chlorine leaked into the lazy river at the hotel’s pool area. Approximately 1,500 sunbathers and swimmers had to be evacuated, with 26 taken to the hospital for treatment.

Now comes word that a number of guests at the ultra-luxurious Vdara Hotel, in the massive CityCenter complex, have been seriously burned by sunrays reflecting off the hotel’s concave, glass-sheathed façade. The effect can raise the temperature of the directed rays by 20 degrees -— which certainly could do some damage considering the city’s already sizzling summertime weather. Indeed, the phenomenon has actually melted plastic bags in the Vdara’s swimming pool area.

Notes a report from Yahoo News: “The building’s concave design creates a sort of magnifying-glass effect. The hotel’s designers reportedly anticipated that ill-situated humans might experience some discomfort courtesy of the building’s blinding glare, so they placed a film over the glass panes of its many windows. Obviously that didn’t quite do the trick.” Now, Yahoo News says, the hotel is positioning large umbrellas in the pool area “while designers try to come up with another remedy.”

The rather overblown term “death ray” (thankfully, no deaths so far) was coined by hotel employees to describe the phenomenon.

Images: To see the façade of the hotel and an illustration of how the offending rays work, click hereNote: Some Web sites may open behind this page.