Cadillac Advertising

Cadillac makes some great cars now; a far cry from the awful years of the 1970’s, the 1980’s, and most of the 90’s. World-class cars, actually. Cadillac advertising has never quite hit the same sweet spot. Despite making some of the best luxury cars in the world, Cadillac advertising has not yet been able to roll out that signature ad campaign that everyone remembers. And it sure hasn’t been for lack of trying, or for lack of marketing dollars.

Cadillac Advertising - Custom auto interiors

This year’s Academy Award Show (the second-biggest ad moment of the year, right behind the Super Bowl) was another chance for Cadillac advertising to make an impression. And they did, with an ad that they themselves say wasn’t designed to move metal, but rather, to “elevate the brand”. Cadillac has been in a prolonged search for a global brand identity, and they’re also trying to shift their brand perception in the U.S., their largest market.

The ad has a lot of vintage Cadillac metal in it, and the emotion-tinged voice-over talks about America, and American “values”, or at least how Cadillac advertising sees those values. The emotion part of this concoction is important; Cadillac has long felt that the missing ingredient in their advertising has been an emotional connection with their audience. It’s a good television commercial, and time will tell whether it has the desired effect. Brand advertising works slowly, so the verdict regarding success won’t be in for awhile.

Also interesting to think about is how a commercial like this is going to play in China, one of Cadillac’s fastest-growing markets. General Motors has been a sales powerhouse in China for a long time, and that’s because of the strength of their Buick brand. But, Cadillac is an “aspirational brand” in China, and so are many attributes the Chinese associate with America, and it will be interesting to see if the melding of the two plays well to a Chinese audience.

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