Caddy Stars in ‘Matrix’ Car Chase

DETROIT General Motors is about to debut its largest movie product placement ever as the result of a deal with Warner Bros.

The Cadillac CTS sedan and Escalade EXT sport utility vehicle will star in a 15-minute freeway car chase in The Matrix Reloaded from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. The movie opens May 15 and is the second installment of a sci-fi/action film trilogy that began with The Matrix in 1999.

“Even though Cadillac has appeared in more than 100 films over the past 100 years, this marks the first time Cadillac has strategically invested and leveraged its products in a major film,” said Mark LaNeve, Cadillac general manager, in a statement.

GM did not pay a fee to Warner Bros. for the placement, a Cadillac representative said. But the automaker did supply the moviemakers with 24 vehicles. At the time of shooting, the vehicles were not yet in production so GM created prototypes. Cadillac also gave filmmakers technical information about the CTS and Escalade EXT, including engineering specifications, math data and dimensional information about sheet-metal components so stunt coordinators could choreograph the technical elements of the shoot.

GM also provided filmmakers with approximately 50 additional cars and trucks to be used as background vehicles during the shoot. The Cadillac representative declined to put a value on the 24 prototypes and 50 production vehicles.

To promote the placement, Chemistri, Troy, Mich., created newspaper print ads, which will run in USA Today on May 14 and 19 and in the Los Angeles Times on May 14 only. The agency also helped create a hyperlink on the Cadillac Web site specific to the movie. Consumers can log on to www.cadillac.com/matrix for behind-the-scenes information.

Cadillac has been trying to interest younger consumers in the vehicles, said Kim Kosak, Cadillac advertising and promotions director. The movie is a great way to reach potential customers who are difficult to target with conventional media and may not have considered a Cadillac in the past, she said.