Cadillac Readies a New Look

GM Unit Wants Greater Brand Unity in DMB&B Work for Its Models
DETROIT–General Motors’ Cadillac division is preparing a dramatic shift in the look of its advertising, executives said.
Starting with the November launch of the 2000 DeVille, there will be “more synergy” among the brands in work from lead Cadillac agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., said Martin Walsh, Cadillac’s general director of marketing.
Several model taglines are likely to change, and a new overall campaign with a fresh divisional tag is under consideration, Walsh said. The current tag, “Creating a higher standard,” has not appeared during the past year. One possible replacement is “It’s good to be the Cadillac,” a line created by Berlin Cameron, New York, for the launch spot of the Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle, Walsh said.
Like the Escalade spots, which feature the George Thorogood song “Bad to the Bone,” new ads will leave consumers thinking, “That’s really different for Cadillac,” Walsh said.
The inception of brand management at GM dictated concentration on individual brands, leaving little resources for the overall Cadillac brand. “The risk in doing that has been too much disparity,” Walsh said, citing the vast difference between the previous DeVille “Making whoopee” campaign and the original Catera ads featuring a cartoon duck.
The completely redesigned and re-engineered DeVille is the world’s first production vehicle with night vision, an automotive application of infrared technology used by the military. The vehicle was unveiled last week at a classic car show, and a program booklet there highlighted the night vision feature. A headline states, “The difference is like night & day,” with a picture showing half of a 1949 DeVille joined to half of the new model.
A 19-city informational tour is planned for September, said Pat Harrison, Cadillac marketing manager for the north central region. Regional ads will kick off at the end of the first quarter, he added.
Executives declined to reveal spending for the DeVille, but said the launch is as important as the Catera launch was in late 1996. Cadillac spent $97 million advertising that model over its first 14 months, according to Competitive Media Reporting.