Cadillac Learns Its Lessons

Seville Campaign Will Keep Its Eyes on the Road
DETROIT-D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, in Troy, Mich., national agency for General Motors’ Cadillac division, is putting together a print and TV campaign for the all-new Seville luxury sedan, set to break in the first quarter of next year.
The campaign will have a catchy, youthful tagline similar to “The Caddy that zigs,” used last year to launch the Catera model, said John F. Smith, Cadillac general manager and GM vice president. A mascot, like Catera’s animated duck, is under consideration, but if one is used, it won’t be the focus of the campaign, reflecting a lesson learned from the Catera launch.
“We found that the duck played too prominent a role in later ads,” Smith said. The Catera campaign’s introductory ads, which were more on target than later efforts, played up the vehicle more and featured the duck as a minor character. GM pulled one of the later Catera spots that featured short-skirted supermodel Cindy Crawford, for fear that it might offend women.
In contrast, the Seville campaign will target female consumers with print ads featured in magazines such as Vogue, said Susan Docherty, GM Europe marketing director of North American vehicles.
Ad spending for the Seville launch will be an all-time high, said Keith Ulrich, Seville brand partner and a senior vice president at DMB&B. GM spent more than $40 million on Seville in 1996 and more than $32 million through the first six months of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting data.
The new campaign will build on the success of the 1997 efforts, which featured celebrities such as Dennis Franz, he said. Ulrich hinted at the possible use of celebrities in the upcoming campaign. Both print and TV will emphasize what Ulrich referred to as “the brand’s three pillars: styling, performance and technology.”
Cadillac is trying to capture the interest of younger buyers with the restyled Seville. The average age of the sedan’s owners is early 50s to mid-60s, Smith said.
The division’s goal is to attract more 45-to-50-year-old buyers to the nameplate.