About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Bill Mount says:

    I like this spot. For one thing, I admire the writing simply as a pure piece of copy. We seem to be in a phase right now where TV copy is either a string of loosely-knit bullet points or a gush of pretentious, poetry-slam rambling. Here’s a commercial with real sentences. They make a point. They have a tone of voice.

    I admire the strategy, too. Somebody on the Rogue planning team chipped out a nugget of insight. A huge part of the reason anybody buys a luxury car is to demonstrate to the rest of the world that “I can have something you can’t”. It’s not PC to say it but, deep inside, we all know it’s true (this isn’t new news, but it’s news that a major brand had the guts to embrace it).

    Tying that truth to the American Work Ethic, then applying all that to a hybrid Cadillac (of all things!) strikes me as real smart. Let’s NOT be a Prius, indeed. This is a hybrid for people who snicker at hybrids and the sanctimonious folks who drive them (to demonstrate to the rest of the world “I’m more ecologically attuned than you are”).

    I think the commercial makes that point beautifully.

    • Thanks Bill. I agree with you, it is beautifully executed creative. And I like the idea of fighting sanctimoniousness with smugness. It’s brave advertising and for that, I tip my pork pie hat to the brand and to Rogue. But I am not convinced it is smart to alienate people unnecessarily.

      Sanctimonious or no, there are people who might have gone out their way to buy this car, but now they won’t even test drive it because there’s a political stigma attached to the car. That’s what the ad is doing. It’s layering another, somewhat mean-spirited idea in with the already well-established idea that Cadillac is the definition of American automotive luxury.

      This is an interesting approach, especially for an electric car. But interesting is rarely enough to move metal. Cadillac has to get people to fall in love with this $75,000 car and the whole idea of buying an electric car from Detroit.