Published on March 11th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro113
GM Executives Defend Controversial ELR Commercial
March 11th, 2014 by Christopher DeMorro
Editor’s Note: An important thing to know is that this ad was designed for another Cadillac (it’s a brand ad, not a model ad). From what I read, the new CMO (Uwe Ellinghaus, coming from BMW in Germany) had the idea of using the ELR instead after he came on board (and essentially inherited the ad). He seems to be a fan of EVs and the ELR. So, while the commercial didn’t really show off the ELR, it used this electrified luxury car as the somewhat shocking point car in a brand commercial aimed at conservative rich people. Interesting choice, imho. And as I’ve written before, while I am ideologically opposed to the attitude and most of the views of the character in the commercial, I realize that people who align themselves with those exist in fairly large numbers and that we need them to also go electric, not just “my folk.”
After airing a commercial for the Cadillac ELR during the Olympics, Cadillac executives have come out defending the ad to clear up any “misconceptions.” Is GM already in damage control mode over the Cadillac ELR?
The advertisement is called “Poolside” and stars Neal McDonough as an all-American business guy decrying the useless of material things or month-long vacations. All that matters is work… and the Cadillac ELR, apparently. The advertisement definitely provoked conversation in the car world, and I lambasted the piece for wasting a minute of my time without telling me one damn thing about the car itself.
But according to Cadillac, reaction to the advertisement was three times more positive than negative. Cadillac’s advertising chief Craig Bierly says the ad spot is meant to serve as brand “provocation,” to get customers talking about the luxury car maker. In that regard, the commercial seems to have succeeded. Pundits on the left are crying over stagnant wages and the rise of poor-paying part-time jobs, while right-wingers celebrate the workaholic attitude that they say drives people to the top.
Blah blah blah blah. It’s a car commercial people, and I only wrote about it because, to me at least, it’s yet another stumbling block for the launch of an otherwise great car. The commercial doesn’t introduce the car in the least, and the high MSRP puts it in direct competition with cars like the Tesla Model S, which most people agree is the superior vehicle.
In fairness to Mr. Bierly, he says the ad is simply about saying that working hard is about making your own luck. I agree with that sentiment to an extent, and I really don’t expect a $76,000 vehicle to be marketed to the Average Joe. My only problem with the ad is that it tells me absolutely nothing about the car itself, and instead only divides people over the “message” of a freakin’ car commercial. “What we’re saying is that hard work has its payoffs.” Fair enough.
But instead of being a provocative vehicle, the Cadillac ELR and its first commercial appearance make the brand seem out-of-touch unwilling to admit what the car really is; a hybrid. To some people in the top tax bracket, hybrid is a dirty word. Early sales seem to indicate that GM has seriously overestimated the value of a luxury Volt, even though the car has managed to convert a few haters into hybrid drivers because despite all this, it’s still a very good car.
Please though, let us all take in the delicious irony that right-wing pundits are defending an even-more-expensive Chevy Volt. Should I laugh, or should I cry?
Source: Ad Age
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