American exceptionalism is a strange concept to build a car commercial on. Even for Detroit.
It makes me think the Koch brothers are financing this new Cadillac ELR campaign, covertly of course. How else to account for the brazenness of the socio-political speech?
Cadillac and its agency, Rogue (a group culled from three IPG agencies—Hill Holliday, Lowe and Campbell Ewald) want to stand out and this work does stand out. The ad is effective and disturbing, at the same time.
I feel like the brief made it clear: “Let’s NOT be Prius.” The creative team at Rogue took that thinking and delivered the ultimate anti-Prius spot.
Cadillac is clearly not interested in courting white, well-educated liberals from the suburbs. They want the hard-driving set to get behind the wheel of its electric vehicles. The ELR is the anti-Prius and at $75,000, a slightly more affordable alternate to a Tesla.
Craig Bierley, Cadillac’s advertising director, spoke to Ad Age in hopes that he might clear up some questions that people have raised about the spot.
For instance, some people believe the spot is aimed at the richest 1%.
Not so, says Bierley. Rather than millionaires, the spot’s targeted at customers who make around $200,000 a year. They’re consumers with a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” who “pop in and out of luxury” when and how they see fit, he said. “These are people who haven’t been given anything. Every part of success they’ve achieved has been earned through hard work and hustle. . . . One of the ways they reward themselves for their hard work is through the purchase of a luxury car,” he said.
I appreciate this extra bit of clarification. If you inherited money, or got to where you are today through luck, connections, or a state-sponsored education, buy a Tesla.