Home » Cadillac CT4 Ad Makes Quite The Splash: Video

Cadillac CT4 Ad Makes Quite The Splash: Video

Cadillac CT4 Ad Makes Quite The Splash: Video

First arriving in 2019 as an indirect replacement for the Cadillac ATS, the Cadillac CT4 is the brand’s latest entry-level luxury sedan. Now, we’re checking out a 30-second video advertisement that features the compact looking good as it splashes through a waterfall.

We’ve already examined how Cadillac is leveraging its pop culture success via new celebrity partnerships and marketing efforts, but this video is a little different, instead focusing only on the car. Titled “Breakout Style,” there’s no voiceover narration or anything extraneous to speak of – just a black Cadillac CT4 and some choice glory shots.

The video starts with a few establishing shots of the Cadillac CT4, which starts to accelerate towards the entrance of a warehouse. We then see that the warehouse actually houses a waterfall, which the CT4 promptly charges through. The end result is the luxury sedan showing off its finely styled body panels as the water breaks around four-door.

“Give your goosebumps… goosebumps,” reads the outro text.

Based on the automaker’s latest design language, the Cadillac CT4 takes after the Cadillac Escala concept, with thin horizontal lighting elements up front and vertical rear lamps. Buyers are offered a number of different trim levels per the brand’s latest Y trim level strategy, including the base-level Luxury, and followed by Sport and Premium Luxury. Climbing up higher on the Sport branch, we find the go-faster Cadillac CT4-V model, above which is the as-of-yet unannounced CT4-V Blackwing. To note, the CT4-V Blackwing has been delayed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The CT4 is offered with two engine options, both of which are turbocharged. Entry-level models get a 2.0L four-cylinder with 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mating to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Higher in the range is a turbo 2.7L four-cylinder that makes 309 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque in the Premium Luxury trim, and 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque in the CT4-V trim. The 2.7L ‘four connects to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both RWD and AWD are offered.

Are you a fan of this Cadillac CT4 video advertisement? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to Cadillac Society for more Cadillac CT4 news and around-the-clock Cadillac news coverage.

Written by
Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.


  1. Ultimate FAIL!!!! Did Cadillac hire the same agency that did ‘The Caddy that Zigs’ and ‘Breakthrough Barriers’???!!!

    First out the salvo was ‘Break Through Barriers’ with people busting through glass, running down streets in pursuit and jumping off overpasses and now we just saw a CT4 driven through a waterfall that somehow is occurring inside a warehouse. And what does any of that have to do with goosebumps or really the car? Did it need a wash? Ugh!!!

  2. And the hits keep on coming

  3. Can’t imagine how the ad would make ANYONE in the market for a luxury entry-level sedan more likely to choose a Cadilllac. Are there marketing studies that show that this type of “advertisement” is actually effective? “Gives me goosebumps”????

  4. Not good… as a photographer and videographer this is only remotely visually interesting. Doesn’t make me want to watch it again…

    Agree with other comments, people running chasing cars, waterfall in a building, so bad.

    • Is the purpose of advertising to make you want to “watch it again?” Of course not.

      No, the purpose of any traditional advertising is to create sufficient levels of interest to move the viewer to the next step in the sales-marketing funnel, such as visiting a website, visiting a dealer, submitting an interest/lead form, taking a test drive, etc.

      Cadillac is not making video to please photographers and videographers or to make people want to watch the video a billion times. They don’t gain anything from that. Instead, these are intended to pique interest and move the person to the next step. Think of the complete sales/marketing funnel and you’ll understand what these are all about. Think of anything else and you’ll miss the point, as so many are missing the point here.

      PS: for what it’s worth, I do find this spot visually interesting and it makes me want to watch it again… which, as I noted above, doesn’t really matter. But hey, I’m no photographer or videographer.

      • I am actually a consumer that happens to be a photographer/videographer, marketing director and proud owner of a 2020 XT6. Love it and all it’s details and nuances. The XT6 is actually my first GM product since my 1973 Corvette, I purchased in 1975. Love cars and have seen good and bad car promos over the last 40 plus years. Would love to see Cadillac do well developmentally and with sales in all their platforms.

        Video views, likes, and shares, all matter in this day and time as it relates to increased interest, foot traffic and sales. I would take my chances if I got billion views for any product I was marketing though.

        My apologies didn’t mean to offend you and continued success with your website.

        • Oh it’s no problem whatsoever, Warren. No need to apologize, I do appreciate the varying viewpoints. In fact, it’s probably me who needs to apologize for the pompous tone of my comment.

          Congrats on the XT6! Out of curiosity, did you cross-shop the XT6 with any other vehicles?

          • I shopped some, Audi A5 Sportback, Audi Q7, Range Rover Discovery Sport, and had actually settled on the A5 Sportback but there was a high demand on those at the time and inventory was low. Saw an auto show youtube review of the CT5, really liked the grill and the aggressive look of it, but it wasn’t hitting the market until late fall of 2019. My last car was a Lexus GS 350 F Sport and prior to that a M5 BMW and 3 other BMWs. Went to a Cadillac dealership to check out some advertised CTS and ATSs. Test drove those, the XT4 and XT5. (I took photos and videos of all the vehicles that I liked for later review) Two XT6s hit the dealership that day, one was sold and I test drove the other. Loved the ride, the new technology, and the added space without being too large. Left the dealership and researched online that night, did not find much out there at the time. Purchased it the next day… Never made it back to Audi… so far so good!

            • That’s a great story. Glad to see Cadillac taking potential sales from the competition! Enjoy yours, it’s a great vehicle 🙂

        • Interesting comment about the ad. What did you think about the XT6 “Crew Ready ad? Were you in the market before the ad came out?

          • I actually really liked those “Crew Ready ads”. It seemed like they were to be a part of a comprehensive targeted campaign with a great starting point. I’m 63 years old and the ads I saw seemed to be directed at a younger demographic, I may have missed the ones targeting folks my age. But what I saw was well done.

            I was in the market before the ad came out.

            I purchased my XT6 and then a couple weeks or so later I saw the Crew Ready ads. I did share those videos ads from youtube with family and friends when I was trying to share with them what I had purchased. No one had ever heard of an XT6 at the time.

  5. Let’s see what this spot gets right:
    1. The vehicle is the focal point of the ad, with the spot showing the CT4 for the entirety of the video.
    2. There is a lot of eye-catching eye candy (waterfall, driving scenes).
    3. The words across the screen serve as another eye-catching measure.

    I find all of these negative reactions funny, but in a sad way. This spot does everything differently compared to the No Barriers commercial:

    In that spot, the armchair CEOs complained that the cars weren’t shown for long enough periods of time and that the people “running” or “chasing” cars were a gimmick, etc. This spot is the polar opposite, showing the CT4 throughout the entirety of the ad, with no people – all car.

    Some people just don’t get it. In their minds, Cadillac is damned either way. I would wager a bet, though, that the overwhelming majority of these negative nillies are not even Cadillac customers.

  6. It seems no auto brand stimulates suxh inreasoning negativity ( even hatred) than Cadillac. Especially on “arm chair” forums like this. Everyones favorite whipping boy.

    While this won’t win any awards, I think it’s effective in that as you say, the car-is-the-star.

    Is this really an ad as such? It’s been on the Cadillac website for months. Is it being broadcast now?

    • For whatever reason, the hateful armchair CEO-ing is particularly strong with Cadillac. Not sure why, though.

      I don’t think this is a TV ad, but it is running in various online ad units.

  7. The ad is very cool. It gives you just enough to want to find out more. It’s all visual without distracting narration so you focus your entire attention on the video. I’m giving the CT4 serious consideration debating about getting another crossover or a sedan.

  8. I like the ad. Not sure why ads have to be politically correct with the haters. People have nothing better to do but complain about bunch of silliness that is not necessary at all.

  9. Warped reasoning to marginalize the feedback of these so-called ‘armchair nillies’ because you suspect they aren’t Cadillac customers. Ownership is not the end-all factor that determines whose feedback is valid. That’s akin to reasoning that a marriage counselor can’t counsel unless they themselves are or were married. No worries though, with the meh offerings coming from the brand, it’s assured we won’t be Cadillac’s returning or new customers. And for your understanding while risking redundancy, feedback also comes from prospectives looking for their next new ride.

    So lets review this ad here. The concepts pulled into this ad are distractive – a vehicle driven into a warehouse which somehow has a waterfall -, sensationalistic yet amateurish and one dimensional but somehow are supposed to garner interest or desirability for the car. What exactly about the car in this ad could possibly cause ‘goosebumps’? By power of deduction, It could only be its exterior design as it’s the only aspect of the vehicle shown. Considering it’s subjective as to whether the exterior of the car is attractive, the approach could’ve at least been fleshed out.

    Cadillac serves as the one to pick on because it’s an ongoing has-been in an arena with accomplished players. The usual play is that the brand comes out with a model with all the bells, whistles and solid engineering, but it doesn’t sell in enough volume – it takes time to shake off old negative perceptions about the brand to win people over – and shortly thereafter it’s discontinued. Witness what happened with the chop of the CT6. How does that serve to establish a good impression or trust with the buying public? So the crazy cycle repeats itself of one-and-done models and the buying public stays away. To Cadillac’s credit, the CTS did have 3 cycles before they pulled the plug. But then the wonky styled CT5 – supposedly it’s indirect successor – picks up where it left off.

    Instead of enduring the pain that comes with establishing Cadillac as a formidable luxury brand – something which JDN wanted but didn’t find support from GM -, the underlying message that comes through is that the marque has luxury brand intentions but won’t commit to the long haul unless immediate results are realized.

    Cost cutting reigns supreme with CUVs built on FWD platforms shared with other GM brands. They’re competitive at best but there’s nothing outstanding or special about them. That approach alone negates any halo performance variants that positively impact brand perception. Lexus can get away with this approach because it’s associated with Toyota which is know for solid and reliable engineering. What is Cadillac currently known for?

    And how is it that MB/BMW/Audi are able to push into new market segments with new vehicles that are imported at an expense no less? But we get a massaged over ATS that didn’t keep pace in its original vehicle segment, so its rebadged a CT4 and is moved downmarket. 

When Audi’s vehicles experienced unintended acceleration in the 80s, sales tanked as people stayed away in droves. However the brand stayed for the long haul and kept building trust with the public by not retreating from the marketplace but consistently overhauling its product line with premium vehicle offerings. It paid off in the long run.

    Come correct, redefine and catapult to the top of a segment or be successful at creating and owning a new segment or simply close down shop.

    • Gary – it would appear that your reply is directed at my comment, so I’ll engage.

      I do not think that ownership determines feedback validity of an. What I did say is that feedback would be more appropriate from the target market… whether that be current or potential customers. Onward.

      Your detailed dissection of the spot is appreciated, but I don’t think it’s all that relevant. That’s not a knock at your take, but rather an invitation to ask yourself the following: just how many people will dissect the ad the way you did, questioning what a waterfall is doing in a warehouse or really delve into what about the car will give them “goosebumps.” No, the overwhelming majority of those who will see this video will likely go in one of two directions:
      1. Notice the spot, the car, the eye candy, and then take the next step of researching either a) Cadillac, b) the CT4, c) another Cadillac model outside the CT4, or all d) all of the above… or…
      2. They will not notice it at all, and continue about their day.

      Now, I agree with your take about there being an apparent lack of commitment to truly world-class Cadillac products. In my decade of covering Cadillac and GM, I have noticed this as well. However, I have come to develop a different take on this in the recent past. I’ll try to sum it up as eloquently as I can, and then get back to the articles I have to write and interview I have to conduct. So, here goes.

      There are things that “should be done” in an optimal scenario. These would include “strategic items” like developing/utilizing Cadillac-specific architectures for vehicles (especially crossovers), continuing CT6 production (rather than dropping it entirely), developing brand-specific powerplants like the Blackwing engine, so on and so forth.

      But then there are things that “need to be done” in the face of reality. These include filling already hot and growing segments with a vehicle in order to not lose the opportunity of generating value and revenue, or attracting a new wave of customers. It’s this line of thinking that has won out in the recent past. For instance, developing Cadillac crossovers on rear-drive platforms would have taken significantly longer and cost more, while also creating issues with production (Lansing Grand River will need significant capacity increases and changes to its layout to produce more cars based on the Alpha platform). So the decision to base the Caddy crossovers on front-drive GM architectures was made in the realm of reality: make do with what they have now and bring them to market quickly, while doing the best they can on the engineering side with the front-drive platforms that are at their disposal. The team did, ultimately, do its best, as the XT4 and XT6 are the best front-drive-based crossovers… but the front-drive bones prevent exciting variants (like V or V Blackwing models) from being created.

      However, all this was not done in vain, and there is light at the end of the tunnel. That light is EVs. With the BEV3 platform, Cadillac will finally have it all, including crossovers that are inherently exciting (in range-topping variants), with rear-wheel-drive, or dynamic/rear-biased AWD.

      The current models were used as significant profit generators to enable Cadillac to fund the upcoming EV onslaught all by itself, rather than collaborating with another automaker. So the focus now is EVs, and EVs all the way. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the upcoming two crossovers that will kick off the effort.


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