GM Exec 1: I know who can drive Cadillac. GM Exec 2: Who? GM Exec 1: BMW’s Ex-CMO.

Vroom-vroom. That's what you hear about Mercedes, BMW and Lexus sales. But how about this Cadillac? Will a new CMO who came from BMW give it oomph in the the marketplace?
Vroom-vroom. That describes Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus sales. They’re all moving ahead. But how about this Cadillac? Will a new CMO who came from BMW give it oomph in the the marketplace?


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.

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?

An un-commercial.

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.

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 Regards, Steve Ulin



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