A cursory glance at the comments sections of various Cadillac ads from the past decade reveals that, for one reason or another, Cadillac advertising draws banter and criticism like no other. Most recently, ads such as Crew Ready and Make Your Way have started to shift Cadillac’s marketing direction towards offering a more vibrant, dynamic and modern approach.
Another change in the marketing strategy involves Cadillac using more celebrities to deliver its message. For instance, Oscar-winning auteur, Spike Lee, directed a short film called “Anthem” to introduce the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, while also sharing the stage during its global debut on February 4th in Hollywood. Shortly thereafter, Oscar-winning actress and acclaimed director, Regina King, helped introduce Cadillac’s new “Make Your Way” ad campaign during the 92nd Oscars.
As celebrities begin to play larger and more prominent roles in Cadillac’s advertising efforts, we caught up with Cadillac President, Steve Carlisle, during the reveal of the all-new, 2021 Escalade to ask whether celebrity messaging will continue playing a part in Cadillac’s marketing efforts.
“I think yes, it’s part of the resonance of the brand,” Carlisle told Cadillac Society. “That’s one of the reasons we did [the Escalade reveal] here – this is Beverly Hills, the luxury capital of the world, so there’s a terrific association here. To use entertainment as an example, Cadillac is on more album covers than any other brand and we’re in more songs by a long shot than any other brand. And not just songs from 30 years ago, but Cadillac is a very contemporary brand in pop culture today, so there’s a lot of that too.”
Cadillac’s cross-town rival, the Lincoln Motor Company, doesn’t have the same level of pop culture success. But it has been prominently employing actor Matthew McConaughey to star in its advertising.
Cadillac has been on an offensive that’s been years in the making. Once the 2021 Escalade launches later this year, the automaker will have completely revamped its vehicle portfolio, introducing two new crossovers (XT4 and XT6) to join the XT5, overhauling its sedans (CT4 and CT5) as well as its flagship Escalade SUV. The portfolio expansion results is a 90 percent coverage of market segments by volume in 2020, compared to only 52 percent in 2019.
Though Cadillac production has been suspended over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect major sales gains once the virus and its impact blows over, hopefully sooner rather than later.
We invite you don’t forget to subscribe to Cadillac Society (it’s totally free) for ongoing Cadillac news coverage.
Well, then let the “vibrant, dynamic and modern” people buy Cadillacs. But they are not who I see driving around in new Cadillacs. The Cadillacs in recent ads are not displayed well (too many brief glimpses of various models.) In my opinion, the ads are poorly done. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz will be sponsoring the upcoming U.S. Open Tennis tournament, with more tasteful ads catering to a higher demographic.
The problem with Celbrity endorsements is multi-fold, immediately there will be a large % of an audience that does not associate itself with the “chosen one”, certainly both Spike Lee and in Lincoln’s case McConaughey both can fall into this category and alienate a potential buyer from the Brand. There is also the harsh reality in today’s world that we have matured and are not impressed with Celebrity, their choices, their politics, their whatever. One’s “Crew”, not unlike “the Squad” comes to mind, with whatever connotation applicable. Anything that limits Demographics, should be eschewed and targeted to a specific Who, What, Why that is part of the Brands DNA and always understanding “Icons are constant, Fashions change”, this is an Iconic Brand that got confused along the way, moving to Manhattan, in the midst of changing back from their Model nomenclature of the Euro ‘Alpha-numeric’ to what dreams are made of Eldorado, Seville, Coupe de Ville come to mind.
Could not have said it any better myself. Bravo. Just tells me how much Cadillac is out of touch with its base customers. We are more interested in the cars than the paid celebrities that shrill for them.
IMO McConaughey is a lot more likeable to a larger demographic than Spike Lee or Regina King. Spike is very controversial… Regina is not nearly as well-known as MM. Seriously, WHO is in charge over there. I know we’re all armchair quarterbacks, but they cannot seem to make a single positive move. The best news was the move back to names… until we heard the insanity, they’ve come up with…
The brand still needs to be reestablished after billions spent and years wasted. One of the best ways to do that is use what WAS established as there is name recognition, good or bad. Lincoln did it with the Continental which has a good/not so good history. Cadillac needs to create fantastic products with the established names then keep moving. But to come out with the Celluliq, the Lyriq… I mean seriously. They need to bring the loyalists back then go after new customers. And it’s easier to keep a customer than to get one, so treat them like gold. Carlisle is failing but unfortunately if they fire another Exec THAT also sets a bad precedence…