By on January 9, 2015

Jennifer Lawrence at the 2014 Oscars

Want a selfie with Melody Lee at this year’s Oscars? While that may or may not happen due to a number of factors, Cadillac will grace the B&B’s viewing parties with its presence.

Forbes reports the premium brand will walk the red carpet in an all-new advertising campaign gown, showing off both its revamped brand positioning and new tagline during the telecast of the annual awards ceremony February 22, followed by the debut of the CT6 at the 2015 New York Auto Show in April.

Cadillac’s goal with the campaign, per CMO Uwe Ellinghaus, is to “disrupt” how everyone views the brand, hopefully doing a better job than the time Kimmy K tried to break the Internet with her backside. Parent company General Motors became the exclusive automobile advertiser in 2014 after Hyundai stepped away, with both Chevrolet and Cadillac airing spots during the pre-show and main event.

As for New York, the brand will debut a new auto-show display design at the show, with the aim of differentiating itself from other premium, more Teutonic marquees. Ellinghaus explains the motive:

As an American brand, Cadillac can be bolder, more expressive and use more of a human touch, because we are not German. We need to get to one “look-and-see” the world over.

Meanwhile, Cadillac’s presence at next week’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show will be more subdued, focusing upon the 640-horsepower, 200-mph 2016 CTS-V premium performance sedan.

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89 Comments on “Cadillac’s New Brand Identity To Grace Oscars’ Red Carpet...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Oh, now you’ve done it…

    (Gets chair and popcorn)

    • 0 avatar

      I thought of him the moment this piece was chosen for today’s summaries!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Does anyone recall the episode of South Park where Cartman saw the couple who had a congenital defect that had their a$$es where their faces should be?

        (I find myself relaying my feelings, thoughts & emotions more frequently vis-a-vis South Park episodes in our New Abnormal, lately)

        Anyways…Cartman, upon seeing them, lost his ability to mock, ridicule, and even, to laugh.

        This is how I feel regarding Cadillac today, Friday, December 9, 2015.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ahem, its January. December 9th happened to be one of the worst days of my life.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            See!

            Melody CT-Lee & Johan The Zohan have got me so flustered that I fear I’ve lost track of the month.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I like that Johan the Zohan, but I declare Miss Lee shall be known as CT Mel-o-dy. She hates model names so much, she can be one.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ” December 9th happened to be one of the worst days of my life”

            I’m sorry to hear that :(

            The bad news is you’re young, you have a lot of worse days to look forward to :D

            “The worst events in life are the ones we never saw coming, so are the best”

          • 0 avatar

            You have my condolences. *big hugs*

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Lie2me, Cameron

            Thx (esp for the Cameron sourced hug!).

            There is an irony to your comment Lie2Me but I honestly don’t want to go into it right now.

            One thing I now know: there are no coincidences.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Actually, this makes perfect sense for Cadillac.

      Lest no one forget Cadillac’s recent fashionista dancing assembly robots fashion runway/catwalk commercial:

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      @lie2me I spit my drink out laughing when I saw your comment. Oh God. ha ha ha

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Yup. Counting down…

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    “As an American brand, Cadillac can be bolder, more expressive and use more of a human touch, because we are not German.”

    -said the German-

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why do people really find watching this crap to be a good use of their time?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Cadillac’s goal with the campaign, per CMO Uwe Ellinghaus, is to “disrupt” how everyone views the brand”

    Translation: Per Pen Boy we will further confuse and irritate you with more bizarre marketing newspeak and lackluster product offerings. FORWARD!

    “Cadillac’s presence at next week’s 2015 Detroit Auto Show will be more subdued, whose focus will be upon the 640-horsepower, 200-mph CTS-V premium performance sedan”

    So will this be the MY16 Alpha or will it be the still on sale Sigma II MY14 variant?

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    “We are not German,” but we will copy the German’s naming structure.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Is it possible an entire automotive division needs psychological therapy? Could we pull Frasier Crane out of retirement and send him to Detroit, er New York?

      “We are not German”

      “To establish parameters around which they would design the ATS, GM engineers benchmarked the 1999-2006 BMW E46 3 Series, which ATS chief engineer Dave Masch and his team regarded as the most dynamic and driver-focused iteration of the 3 Series”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_ATS

      Classic denial, so Pen Boy please tell me more about your father.

  • avatar
    Buford T. Justice

    Cadillac is trying too hard to be cool and hip. You can’t tell people, it has to happen naturally, which is why this will never work. The problem Cadillac has is that they marketed for years to an older crowd. People that like plaid interiors and Continental tires. Last week I was stuck behind some lady driving a DTS 10 miles under the speed limit with her foot on the brakes the entire time. Half of her LED brake lights were busted she rides the brakes so much. That’s a Cadillac driver. Go ahead and tell me how hip and luxurious you are, I’m going to stick with the understated luxury of the Germans.
    After sitting in an ATS at the Ren Cen, there is no comparison to my BMW 330, despite the BMW being 8 years old. The Caddy is a cheap imitation.

  • avatar

    No Ciel/Elmiraj = No point in even showing up. If you don’t have a glamour girl, stay the f- home. Seriously.

    And, for what its worth, you can berate this thing for being front-driver with a timebomb motor, but this still makes you want one…I know I do…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pY-pRbu4tk

    In fact, just show up with a 2002 Eldorado convertible conversion in White Diamond Tricoat and call it a day. You’ll get more positive attention.

  • avatar
    wmba

    How does a Brand Identity grace a red carpet. Is it alive?

    ” premium brand will walk the red carpet in an all-new advertising campaign gown” The brand walks?

    This is not English, nor hip. Just bad writing.

    Sorry Cameron,

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac is a starlet, the next J-Law or Anne Hathaway, if you will. Her new branding campaign is the wonderful and/or tacky gown Ryan Seacrest will ask about during the pre-show red-carpet ceremony.

      The brand positioning is her manicure, which E! will have her “walk” in front of their tiny red carpet before sneaking in a mischievous middle finger; it’s live TV, after all.

      Her new tag line is her signature accessory. Perhaps, like Kristen Stewart, she doesn’t wear shoes at all. Or, she used to wear shoes, but decided heels weren’t worth the pain, and she’s tall enough as it is.

      In short, it’s anthropomorphization. That’s how our young starlet, Cadillac, can walk the Oscars’ red carpet.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      Well, Ellinghaus did imply that Germans are soulless automatons in his quote, so you can see how the whole “more human than human” trope can get confusing.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      The brand will be personated by a classy but aging up-and-coming actress, Cathy Lack, who will wear a multicolored coat of arms and a tiara of chrome laurel leaves.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Our cars suck!

    So, what we need is…

    New TV commercials!

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Whenever some Marketroid talks about “disrupting” a brand, you know that the impending actions are going to make sense to executive-types, but no sense whatsoever to mere mortals. (You know, those mere mortals who actually buy cars.)

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I do not think Oscar viewers are the type to buy gm vehicles and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon. At least dodge jeep and chrysler seem to know their audiences.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      GM is run by a bunch of clowns. Look at the Buick commercial where the couple clearly is living in a multi-million dollar home and are somehow salivating and staring jealously at their neighbor’s Buick crossover from their $100,000 kitchen. It’s like they are not grounded in reality.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t understand anything in this story.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah, very confusing. Such snark that the reporting is lost.

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      In plain English:

      Cadillac is going to run some new TV commercials during the Academy Awards broadcast.

      If you believe that TV commercials are actually newsworthy, this may be of interest to you. Personally, I don’t believe that TV commercials are news.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Thank you. I can’t stand the Academy Awards, so I don’t watch them.

        As much as I like car stuff, I find most car commercials to be stupid. I suppose the Cadillac ads would be tops.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Automobile marketing is huge and every bit as newsworthy as the cars the manufactures make. Think of the clever ad campaigns from years ago of Volkswagen (simple/utilitarian/economical) and Volvo (safety/dependable/upscale) and it makes sense

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      Yea, what the heck does “We need to get to one “look-and-see” the world over.” mean?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        One look and see means having a consistent tag line, logo and other visual material across the world. Just like BMW has the same logo, tag line and overall feel in Europe, the US and elsewhere.

        Most companies seem to be going this way.

  • avatar
    DukeMantee

    Is GM management right out of a Dilbert cartoon or what????

    Let not only the “brand” Cadillac die,but the whole darn corporate entity as well.
    The fact that the home office has corporate officers who would sign off on this stupidity means its way too late to make marketing the whipping horse for the ultimate failure of Cadillac,when so many more are to blame.
    What a complete and utter waste of my tax dollars.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    This reminds me of the “Comparing Cars to Fashion” posts that TTAC was enamored with for a while. Perhaps the “Brand Directors” at Cadillac have been reading the archive at TTAC?

  • avatar
    JD321

    He even looks like a MBA Twit.

    Is “Bold” their new MBA buzzword du jour. I can’t imagine any Hollywood/idiot box watcher would be persuaded by this retarded MBA crap.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It’s easy to be amused by marketing talk but the brand is the main asset a luxury car maker has. The brand building weirdness is spreads across the luxury spectrum with Mercedes more worried about about the average consumer’s association of its brand with quail hunting and executive retreats then they are concerned about the dreadful transmission in the CLA.

    I guess most luxury car makers have figured out that they cannot compete with non-luxury brands in any objective and material comparison so they focus on image and exclusivity instead. Nysschen may well have been right about lux makers not wanting to be car brands – they want to be luxury brands like Luis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and Chanel.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Nysschen may well have been right about lux makers not wanting to be car brands – they want to be luxury brands like Luis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and Channel.”

      Except that Johan the Zohan never stated such, stating that it’s all about product (which means they never have to cut their prices as they did yesterday).

      CT-Melody “Got My Red Jimmy Choos On” Lee made such comments as she stroked her pet rock during an interview after just concluding another “Who I Wear To Work” business magazine interview for an article.

      What I Wear to Work: Cadillac’s Melody Lee
      By Arianne Cohen
      September 25, 2014
      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-09-25/what-i-wear-to-work-cadillacs-melody-lee

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Trust me, click that article link.

        It features an interactive screenshot of Melody where you can click on her jewelry, clothing articles or shoes to understand the reason/motivation/psyche of the how’s/why’s/what’s that her mind assumes when she puts such things on her petite frame.

        It’s HILARIOUS, and written by:

        Arianne Cohen, the author of The Sex Diaries Project: What We’re Saying About What We’re Doing (John Wiley & Sons).

        • 0 avatar
          pkov

          OK, I went to your link, DW, and she’s every bit as unintentionally funny as can be.

          But are you sure that photo isn’t really the Nut Rage lady? Granted, she and Melody are clones so I guess either would do.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          DW you must have missed my analysis in the other article:

          Corporate politics allow many incompetent or otherwise people to not only have jobs, but thrive. in CT Mel-o-dy’s case I would guess the reasons she is still employed would be: (1) natively speaking Mandarin, (2) EEO quotas in this country, and possibly (3) never hurts to be physically alluring in a male dominated industry and also to act as a press object. You have no idea how attractive native Mandarin speakers are right now from a hiring perspective. The woman’s title is apparently: “director of brand and reputation strategy for Cadillac” which is a completely made up requisition *I guarantee*. If they hired her for her skills she’d be a director or VP of marketing or something to that effect. Her title suggests she is to meant be a pretty girl who manages Facebook likes and *who can also be sent to GM’s huge operations in China and speak for Detroit*. Bingo in my mind.

          https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/cadillacs-strange-fruit/#comment-4848929

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        Re: What I Wear to Work: Cadillac’s Melody Lee

        Hah! I rarely visit Bloomberg News and I always thought it was a more serious site. But this looks like something I imagine would be in People Magazine. If she is indicative of the Cadillac driver, I prefer to stay far away.

        To be fair, I believe Melody is just doing the will of the corporation as best she knows how. I’m not calling for her firing. Where would all the comedic material come from otherwise?

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      I’m continually amused at how the B&B commenters on the numerous threads about Cadillac lately feel they have the complete (and obvious, in their collective opinion) answer to all the manufacturer’s ills:

      1. Bring back all the old names, with RWD V-8s only
      2. Reduce the price of the vehicles to undercut the Germans by $20 to $30k each
      3. Fire Melody Lee because they don’t like her opinions about luxury brand image
      4. Move Cadillac’s world headquarters back to Detriot, because that is where they belong
      5. I forget what 5. is
      6. Profit

      If only it were that simple, guys and gals. Johann has been in the job, what, less than a year? Jeez Louise how about giving the guy a chance to turn things around? Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was absolutely detested by fans for his first three years there (1980-3) because everyone was certain that his teams had to play zone defense instead of the man-to-man that Mike insisted on. Thirty years later, Mike was right and the basketball critics were wrong. Johann inherited a mess at Cadillac. It’s not going to be fixed anytime soon, but he has to be given some time to turn this sinking ship around. It seems to me that he and his team are asking the right questions: what is a luxury brand? How do we restore the damaged Cadillac image? Ten years ago Cadillac embarked on a plan to compete with BMW. The CTS and ATS arguably do that. Sales tanked.

      The man has his work cut out for him. I’m interested to see if he can do it.

      And no, I have never owned a Cadillac and probably never will, so I have zero stake in the outcome.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        What I’d expect from a relative of Melody LEE.

        /s

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Coach K inheirited an Elite Eight team. He was rightfully criticized for having a losing record over his first three seasons. He was also right to stick by his players, and his system, even the players that didn’t play well (especially in 1983). There is no Johnny Dawkins at Cadillac though. They don’t have a product that can lead them to from losing to the top of the mountain in two years.

        • 0 avatar
          LeeK

          Coack K inherited an Elite Eight team that lost all of its recruiting momentum when Bill Foster went to South Carolina. Johann has arrived at Cadillac with the cupboard similarly bare. Gene Banks was Duke’s equivalent of the Escalade, and Kenny Denard was the equivalent of the CTS. After they graduated at the end of the 80 season, there was nothing but second-rate talent.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Fair point. I am no Blue Devil basketball historian, but I admire Coach K. I am a firm believer that college coaches should almost always get four years. Johann isn’t going to get four model years if sales keep slumping.

            Now I want Coack K to run Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          It is easier to turnaround a poor basketball team since it is results on the court that matter.

          Moving up the auto sales chart takes time since peoples perceptions take a long time to change.

          JdeN deserves time to see if his plans work. Cadillac isn`t the only luxury auto company to use alphanumerics. Didn`t do Lexus any harm.

          P.S. Go Tar Heels.

          • 0 avatar
            LeeK

            Agreed, Mike. It takes close to a decade to build a strong product lineup when you are starting from zero. Witness how long Buick’s turnaround has taken. Even longer for a rejuvenation of a luxury brand image. Audi took decades to go from the Fox to the A/S Series with many bumps in the road (5000, 80/90).

            I got it: let’s make Matt Doherty take over Cadillac! He’ll do as well as he did with UNC basketball 2000-3. :)

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            So, if it takes a decade to turn around a brand, do you give the guy ten years, then if he can’t do it, hire another person and give them ten years, and if they can’t…

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    It’s not about the packaging, it is all about the product. Build something I like and I’ll consider Cadillac again.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    What Cadillac needs to do is figure out EXACTLY what people who buy Mercedes, Audi and BMW want in a car, and do that.

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