An Open Letter to Cadillac
When I think of your brand, my mind gears straight to quality, class, status, and subtle, but universally known, elegance. In your most recent spot by Rogue though - those positive brand attributes fly out the window faster than unharnessed tissues soar out a convertible top. This materialistic spot is hyper targeted to, pardon my word choice, douche bags, and while it’s well shot, it’s practically a direct rip of Dollar Shave Club’s famed viral video of 2012 (#don’tdenyitwasabenchmark).
What I don’t understand is how this spot got approved. It opens with a probing question by a polished middle aged man asking, “Why do we work so hard? For this? For stuff?” For a minute, you expect him to go into a deep, meaningful, thought provoking answer - but then… you get just the opposite. It’s a throwback to the shallow marketing antics of yesteryear - when it’s pretty obvious market trends and how content resonates with consumers is moving away from just that. I get it. You’re selling a lifestyle, and a successful one at that, but it’s not 1950 and pardon the reality check, but the nouveau riche, Gucci clad suits you’re going for in this sixty second spot will probably be filing for chapter 11 in a decade. Sorry for the harsh words there guys, but I thought your brand was about lifelong brand advocacy, sustainable quality and subtle demonstration and even inspiration toward American success. Also - not a super classy move to air this ad complete with other-culture jabs during the Olympics…just sayin’.
“It’s not a manifesto,” David Caldwell, a spokesman for Cadillac explained. “It’s one person’s P.O.V. It’s a little bit of a rumination of why we work so hard ... we’re building a brand.” Oh are you Cadillac? Up til now I thought you had done a pretty top notch job with that - but if this is what you stand for - over a classy demonstration of fiscal success - over the not overly ostentatious ownership of a status symbol - you may as well be Ed Hardy circa 2006 or Lamborghini circa, well - forever.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re still pals Caddy - we all have our misses - but let it be known that you could have achieved greater success with a few smart tweaks, thereby making this spot a more on-brand, classy demonstration of a similar concept - which really, if we untangle this knot, is selling the American dream in tangible automotive form.
Try again guys.
With respectful love,