When you’re trailing in the car market and still running ordinary commercials, that defines the term ‘mediocre’.
It makes you an also-ran.
Maybe that’s why Cadillac is determined to put old ways behind them and move up from a No. 4 ranking in the luxury stakes against Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus.
Spending close to $270 million last year on ordinary messaging didn’t do a lot for the brand. Their numbers are falling.
But now they’re trying to steer into that 10-½ foot space known as the passing lane.
To get there they’ve hired Uwe Ellinghaus, the ex-CMO of BMW.
It’s not an un-familiar move for marketing companies who may not be rising to expectations.
You go out and hire say, the ex-CMO from Starbucks or Apple and all will be right with the world.
Will that work for Cadillac?
Don’t answer that until you see their new ‘Poolside’ spot. http://bit.ly/1nreo2C
It’s a departure from the old GM ways but it’s also controversial as the spot comes with political overtones.
It divides those on the left and right even more.
Hmmm, one wonders … does that really matter? Because the spot stands out as it nails the target audience squarely.
Some will love it, some will hate it.
Let’s hope it builds showroom traffic and sells cars.
The conditionality around the spot is driven by the fact it’s less about the car and more about an attitude.
So, one questions if the traditional commercial route is the best way to present a new Cadillac to convince people to part with $75,000.
Since Cadillac seem to be following in the tracks of BMW success with Uwe Ellinghaus, maybe they should have gone a step further down that road.
To that end, why couldn’t Cadillac have come up with a narrative?
Something cinematic, with a plot line, entertainment value and a turn-the-tables reversal that leaves audiences agog.
Like the 9-minute Guy Ritiche production for the BMW M5 where the performance of the car makes Madonna wet her pants. http://bit.ly/1kOqQno
That was memorable storytelling.
Maybe the new Cadillac agency will see their way to something like that.
Meanwhile, I’ll be test-driving a Cadillac to determine one thing.
If, like Madonna, I’ll need a change of underwear.
Share with us. Will Cadillac advertising change minds on a global scale? Will it send buyers to showrooms with their checkbooks at the ready? Leave your comment in the box below. Thanks for reading Whybetonto.com. Regards, Steve Ulin
A cafeteria assistant at a Network TV headquarters.
An Army Pfc.
A standup comedienne.
Before becoming ad agency professionals charged with working on multi-million dollar brands, many young people had jobs that were … well, you could call them ‘interesting’.
Their experiences were often as varied as working as a custodian in a natural history museum, doing a stint as a hop-picker, or training to become a shipwright.
Many went on to be hugely effective in top roles as account directors, creative directors, copywriters, art directors and planners.
In more than a few cases ad professionals credit their success to those first jobs and intensive training.
Having an understanding of life and the real world counts for a lot.
Most ad agencies realize that. Maybe that’s why, unlike some professions, they’re not wedded to hiring in their own image.
They don’t fill positions with cookie-cutter personalities. Thank goodness.
Not everybody in the office has to come from an Ivy League school or a middle class family.
Advertising is one profession where you’re not under instruction on how to think. Originality is valued and it can come from anywhere and anybody.
A case in point is a young woman who arrived with her family from Asia as boat people.
That didn’t stop her from learning English, training professionally and becoming a strong copywriter.
If you’re getting the idea that a background in the real world coupled with training is the key to success, you’re not about to get an argument on that.
You don’t need me to tell you that education can pay off in a big way when it becomes a habit of a lifetime.
That’s true in advertising and most likely in every other occupation.
Some years back in New York an ad guy called Joe Sacco encouraged young people to be all encompassing in their learning. To go all out for original solutions.
He summed it up with a thought that went something like this: ‘Look up though a telescope, look down through a microscope’.
Curiosity was his thing.
In his presence ‘the search’ for effective ideas was turned into an exciting challenge. He made it fun and he was always mildly surprised that you could get paid for enjoying yourself.
More on the learning topic, Joe Sacco said, ‘you don’t bet on a horse you hate’.
That would be right.
It was his way of saying you can expect little consideration from colleagues, clients and agency leaders if you don’t make the effort to know your stuff.
So whatever your level may be — from rookie to seasoned professional — in any career you care to name … study, learn, read, discover things, keep educating yourself.
Without that you could be left behind.
Even if you’re a goat breeder.
Share with us. Are you hiring young people? What are you doing to train and perfect their talents? Are they making a contribution from Day One? If not, why not? Thanks for reading Whybetonto.com. Regards, Steve Ulin