Publicis Drives Cadillac to the Oscars

By Erik Oster 

Publicis launched an extension of its “Dare Greatly” campaign for Cadillac with “Don’t You Dare.”

The campaign extension launched with a 60-second spot of the same name, which made its broadcast debut last night during the Oscars. Rather than dealing in typical luxury car advertising trappings, the ad features a series of young over-achievers, from a biotech venture capitalist to a mixed media scultpor, delivering statements such as “Don’t you dare raise your voice” and “Don’t you dare paint on the walls,” leading into the tagline, “Only those who dare drive the world forward.” Notably absent, until the final frames of the ad, is any image of the brand’s vehicles. A series of online spots, created by agency Rokkan, explores the stories behind each of the ad’s young protagonists in more detail, while a pair of spots promoting the CT6 and XT5 rely on a slightly more conventional approach.

“We went to these young people as protagonists for the campaign because it’s amazing what they’ve achieved in their young lifetimes—how self-confident they are, how they’ve become entrepreneurs and mastered their own destinies,” Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus told Adweek.

“The consumers the German luxury brands have courted in the U.S. over the last few decades are getting older and older, so we have a chance to almost reverse the game,” he said, commenting on the campaign’s target demographic. “People walked away from their grandfather’s car, the Cadillac, and went to the German brands. Now, the older customers are sitting in German brands, giving younger customers the idea to take a look at Cadillac. It’s a paradigm shift to where Cadillac was 30 years ago.”