Tag Archives: Academy Awards advertisers

Cadillac’s “Don’t You Dare” Ad Blitz Breaks On Oscars

Cadillac  breaks a lofty, new ad blitz during the Academy Award broadcast Feb. 29 that it dubs an evolution of its year-old “Dare Greatly” campaign.

This time around, the ads are themed “Don’t You Dare” and showcase 8  innovators. Cadillac Global CMO Uwe Ellinghaus said the blitz “is the physical embodiment of ‘Dare Greatly,’ encouraging consumers to take action and never accept the status quo.”

The “Brand” spot and similar “Stories” commercial, each a minute long, mostly show the young people, with brief descriptions of their impressive accomplishments. The aim is to show viewers these people would not have succeeded had they not dared question conventional wisdom. “I want people to go online to find out who these people are,” Ellinghaus says.

But Oscar night TV viewers may wonder what those two commercials are advertising, since a Cadillac vehicle only appears for a few seconds at the end of  each spot. I’m  not sure those ads are compelling enough to keep viewers’ attention until the punchline.

The people spotlighted in the ads range in age from 15 to 25 – certainly not in the mainstream age group of Cadillac buyers today. The average age of buyers in 2015 was 57, says a Caddy spokesman. That dropped from the upper 6os in 2006 and the low 70s from 2001, according to Edmunds.com. That’s notable progress, folks.

Cadillac is  trying to build its brand image now to appeal to these younger buyers down the road. Also, as per marketing logic, you can target older buyers by showing younger folks in ads, but not vice versa. There are also car marketing experts who don’t like to see people in ads because they believe it can limit broad appeal across age groups and sexes.

Janusz Kaminski shot the work, his first automotive ads. The Polish-born filmer has been nominated 5 times for Best Cinematography Academy Awards, winning twice for “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.” He also handled last year’s “Bridge Of Spies.”

For the Oscar broadcast, Cadillac has 5.5 minutes of ad time, including 4 minutes during the show and 1.5 minutes in the pre-show. There’s a total of 6 different commercials, although the advertiser only showed 4 of them to reporters ahead of time. All the ads direct viewers to the DAREGREATLY.com web site, established a year ago.

Publicis in New York, is Cadillac’s ad agency and these ads will also air in China, the first time the same ads have run in Cadillac’s two biggest markets.

The two other :60 spots I previewed were product specific: one for the new XT5 suv ; the other for the CT6 sedan, my personal favorite of the bunch.

This is truly a break-through (pardon the pun*) commercial that grabs your attention with its visual beauty and sleek shots of the CT6. The reverse-motion photography matches the narration “Only those who dare drive the world forward.”

Since his arrival at Cadillac in January 2014 from luxury pen maker Montblanc, the German-born Ellinghaus has preached that car ads merely showing beautiful vehicles aren’t enough these days. He said he’s working to make General Motors’ luxury brand relevant to customers and to stand for something that draws passionate, sophisticated and optimistic buyers.

Ellinghaus, who also had a stint at Germany’s BMW Group in marketing from 1998 to 2012, admits Cadillac faces challenges from his former auto employer, along with Audi, Mercedes-Benz and the Japanese luxury nameplates. But he points to progress Cadillac made in 2015 , not just with rising global sales, but higher transaction prices, lower inventories and less incentive costs. Brand opinion metrics also rose last year for Cadillac , he says.

I doubt this campaign will set the world on fire for Cadillac. This has to be a long term effort, which hasn’t always been the case in the automotive world, including Cadillac. But at least, for now, Cadillac has put a stake in the ground and is sticking to its guns from a year ago.

*”Break Through” was Cadillac’s ad theme from January 2002 until fall 2006 that used the song “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin.

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March Marketing Madness: Nissan, Chevy, Dodge

Nissan’s Snowy Deja Vu
  It’s certainly been a winter for record-breaking snow and nasty weather. So maybe it’s no surprise that Nissan used a snowy street scene with snowmen for a TV commercial to launch its redesigned 2014 Rogue.
The spot, which aired first in Canada and then in the USA touts the all-wheel-drive of the new Rogue compact SUV. TBWA created the commercial, dubbed “Winter Warrior.” Both the :60 and :30 versions show evil snowmen attacking a Rogue driver on a snowy street. The production resembles a thrilling movie chase scene. The motorist manages to escape, naturally, because of the AWD system.
Have a look if you haven’t seen it yet


It is a pretty fun spot that shows off the Rogue’s drivability on snow-covered roads and cleverly sneaks in its three-row seating.
The only problem is that this commercial is so VERY similar to one American Suzuki had a few years back for the all-wheel-drive version of its Kizashi sport sedan. Suzuki’s commercial, called Wicked Weather,” ran in 14 key US markets during the Super Bowl in 2011. So it got pretty good exposure. And it ran tons of other times before and after the Big Game. Even Suzuki’s snowmen, created by Siltanen & Partners, look an awfully lot like Nissan’s.
Judge for yourself

TBWA creatives could have dreamed this one up on their own. Or could it be that somewhere in the back of their brain’s memory file there was a glint recalling an ad with snowmen attacking a car with AWD?
Coincidence? We may never know, but you have to admit the executions are very, very close.
American Suzuki Motor Corp. isn’t likely to make much of a ruckus. The automaker is phasing out its car sales operations here in Chapter 11 bankruptcy court.
Chevy’s Crazy Kids
Speaking of coincidences, a Chevrolet Cruze commercial is getting lots of attention- in a good way. The spot, called “Speed Chaser,” for the Cruze broke during the Academy Awards broadcast and was made for a mere $4,000.
The :60 spot was created by South independent Korean filmmaker Jude Chun, who bested 72 other submissions from around the world in Chevy’s MOFILM , a global community of indie filmmakers. It shows children making the commercial, using props and special effects. The ad has a written on-screen disclaimer: “Children should not play in or around vehicles.” That was probably added by GM lawyers.
In one scene, one of the kids uses his hands to flip over a model-size Cruze, much to the dismay of a young female back-seat passenger. Have a peek

Many ads with cute children are well received with viewers and this one is no different. But Chevy got into big hot water in 2004 for a slick Corvette commercial that broke during the Summer Olympics. Called “A Boy’s Dream,” it showed a young boy putting the sports car through its paces, even taking the Vette airborn as a young girl behind the wheel of another Vette passes him in mid-air going in the other direction. It only ran once. General Motors quickly buckled under pressure from safety and advocacy groups afraid young kids would try to drive their parents’ cars like banchees.
It was a mistake in my mind to pull the ad from Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Michigan because it was clearly a dream sequence. If your kid doesn’t know the difference between reality and dreams you have bigger problems than this commercial.

Yes, this ad also had a written, on-screen disclaimer:  “This is a dream. Do not drive without a license. Obey all traffic laws.”
What a difference a decade makes, eh?
Dodge’s New Celeb Mouth
When it comes to Chrysler Group ads, one can expect to see celebrities.
Now here comes Joan Rivers stumping the beauty of Dodge-brand models in regional dealer ads from Doner in suburban Detroit.

JoanRivers

They’re part of the automaker’s multi-brand “Award Season (sales) Event.”
In the spot for the Dart, Rivers touts the car’s beauty and power. “Look at the leather seats,” she coos. “They are softer than the leather on my face,” says Rivers, who regularly pokes fun at all the plastic surgery she’s had as host of “Fashion Police.”
The spots are airing through April in some 122 markets.
The comic’s appearance in the Dodge ad is shocking to a lot of people. “Are they reaching out to 70-year-olds,” wondered a Facebook poster.
The answer is no.
Rivers, whose career has spanned 5 decades, has managed to keep herself in the public eye and is winning over a younger generation. Rivers and these commercials should generate more positive buzz for Dodge.
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