Cadillac ELR Winter Olympics Ad Is Sharp (VIDEO)

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… and it also encourages the stereotypical workaholic lifestyle and policies of the US.

A new Cadillac ELR ad (like the not-so-great Chevy Volt ad I just wrote about) was unveiled during primetime Olympics coverage. It is pretty sharp, imho. This one aired during the opening ceremonies on NBC (presumably only in very select markets).

The ad does a great job of making the Cadillac ELR look luxurious, sexy, cool, and worth the money. Well done, GM.

Interestingly, the ad also heavily reinforces the idea that we shouldn’t get a month off from work in the summer, as those pesky Europeans do. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a super-duper workaholic. But I’m also not a fan of our workaholic culture, nor our consumerist culture (which is the second thing the ad reinforces). So, I can’t say I’m thrilled about this ad in those respects. However, I think they are also very useful here. Let me explain…

The trouble with electric car marketing is that it often targets a very fringe segment of society. Electric cars are heavily stereotyped. Aligning the ELR with much broader stereotypical “American” concepts helps to broaden the perception and appeal of EVs. I think this ad really nailed it. Also, choosing a well known actor to typify a hard, strong, workaholic American businessman doesn’t hurt.

Overall, for this tremendous market-broadening thoughtfulness, combined with the truly hot characterization the commercial gave the ELR, I’d give this commercial a firm 4 stars out of 5… maybe even more.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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45 thoughts on “Cadillac ELR Winter Olympics Ad Is Sharp (VIDEO)

  • I thought it was very effective in that it got your attention for a good punch line. GM has been working hard to make Caddies relevant again to a younger group of buyers.

    • Definitely well produced, imho. Top quality. The messages it conveys are what are going to really turn some people off and others on. Think it will have a strong effect both ways because it is so well produced.

      • As a non- American, it’s a turn off. But since the ad’s primarily for an American audience, it should hit the crowd right in the old patriotism.

        • Only Republicans

        • Frogs hate this ad. But, they are on vacation anyway acting entitled.

          France was saved twice by America.

          • It’s not August.

            Entitled? You must be talking about rich white Americans.

            France played a significant role in getting the US kick started.

          • >>France played a significant role in getting the US kick started.

            No question about it, that’s true.
            However they’ve traded on it for over 200 years since.

          • Hard to see how France has traded on their help to us.

            The US entered WWI because Germany was attacking ships at sea.

            We didn’t get involved in WWII until after Germany had conquered France in WWII.

          • Yes, but only because they wanted to stick it to the Brits.

          • When you’re in a fox hole anyone shooting at the other guys is your friend.

            Motivations vary.

  • A good ad. Too bad it’s trying to hock the wrong American automobile.

  • Sorry but I found the ad ridiculous and, quite frankly, pretty disgusting.

    • No problem. I had that reaction in many ways myself. But I think there are simply a ton of people who follow this line of thinking, and I’d rather them be brought into the EV fold than not.

      • It’s all about buyer persona… and I’m definitely not one. I found it insulting, disgusting, ridiculous, albeit well produced, and completely the opposite of my world view.

        • Are you waiting for a government handout ? Liberalism is truly a metal disorder !

    • You are so right on this Cadillac ad!

    • You just do not get it!!!! The commercial was DESIGNED to be disgusting to people like you. The ad was targeted to the successful, the achievers, the worthwhile. They purposely eschew the whiners who are in a constant state of high dudgeon because American business fails to value their advanced degrees in “14th Century French Poetry” and “Gender Studies.” As the real Jeffrey Lebowski opined, “your revolution is over, Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose. Do you hear me?

      • Did you want to pay for a seat in the tumbrel or would you prefer to stand?

      • Bums like Detroit right? The bums always lose, unless they’re bailed out by the government.

      • “The ad was targeted to the successful, the achievers, the worthwhile” Worthwhile??? Like the teacher who teacher who teachers your child or the waitress who serves your meals, the assembly line worker who makes the damn thing, the aid who wipes your grandmother’s ass? You are an ignorant arrogant ass.

  • Like a fine steak improperly aged. Just doesn’t quite go down right. Leaves you feeling unsatisfied.

  • Who are you people? This ad is obnoxious, self-inflated, pompous, and arrogant; You call this American culture? E-F-F-E-C-T-I-V-E? If it weren’t such a pathetic display, I might have fallen of my chair of laughter here.

    • Pep you are right…

  • It’s an advertisement. It’s designed to reach as broad of an audience as possible while focusing on a clear demographic. The fact you are talking about it means it hit a nerve whether that’s positive or negative is irrelevant. It did what it was designed to do. Evoke discussion and thereby promote the brand. Personally, I enjoyed it.

  • Its awful. In a room full of employed thirtysomethings and they “dislike” to “hate” the ad. The Chinese will be on the moon waaaaay before us, and everyone with an IQ over 80 knows it. What exactly is the point of this attitude filled doucebag ad again?

    • Yeah, and while they’re checking out the moon rover, we’ll be on the way to Mars.

    • The Chinese will be on the moon “waaaaay” before us? Um, no. We’ve already been to the moon (in 1969); the Chinese (and the Russians, and the Europeans, and the Japanese, and every other country) haven’t made it there yet. Thank you for playing; we have some lovely parting gifts.

      • If you listened to the ad, “we left the keys” in the rover. Of course we went there…just we will not be going back anytime soon. The Chinese will land there and perhaps drive our little rover around, but by then we may be on Mars…or if we keep consuming Cadillacs, maybe we won’t. Sheesh.

        • Of course I listened to the ad. It’s not my style (and neither is the Cadillac) but the ad has a rather striking attitude. My response was to your “…the Chinese will be on the moon waaaay before us”, which to me implied that *you* hadn’t watched the ad (or known that the US had sent men to the moon, more than once). Our space program is currently in shambles, but I’d like to think that we can get it back on track.

  • Total garbage..ignorant and condescending, the joker ridicules others who have less of what he thinks is a praiseworthy work ethic..It’s the American way, he tells us, all do we can have more stuff..all the while oblivious to the break down of the family and the problems with drugs and alcohol, symbols of a nation that worships money and power but has lost it’s soul.

  • One possible explanation this; They know there is a certain type of old buyer that loves to wave the flag and look down on other nations. We know the type..Only they work, only American culture is worthwhile and on and on… these are the kinds of people who ridicule environmentalists as “tree huggers” and on..How do you sell them an electric car? Show someone as obnoxious and ignorant and arrogant as they are buying an electric vehicle..making electric vehicles okay to own.. Like the ad showing a tough guy wearing Depends..

    The funny part about this is that, whether intentional or not, it ridicules the very people it tries to sell, assuming they are just to sold on this kind of nonsense to see how arrogant and ignorant they are portrayed as being.

    • Sure. Who drives a Cadillac? Rush Limbaugh types. That and gangstas with grillwork for teeth.

  • This ad made me sick. We didn’t “leave” the moon because were bored, and we sure as hell won’t be the first ones back. Europe produces more entrepreneurs per capita than the U.S. and has a higher GDP–don’t believe me, Google it. And they do in fact get six weeks (not four)of vacations vs our two. They have more–much more–disposable income–the most widely-minted note in our currency is the $20. Theirs is the 50 Euro, and it’s worth approximately $70–yet Europeans seem to have plenty of them to spend, despite all the “socialism.” Americans, only one in five of whom hav a passport and most of whom don’t use their passports to actually *travel,* are tremendously deluded and living in a bubble of their own making. They don’t want reality to crush their dogma.

  • Something overlooked in this discussion are the last two words the actor says, “N’est-ce pas.” In French, this is asking the question, “isn’t it?” Or put into out vernacular, “Am I right, or am I right?” If I were from France, a country that does take August off, I would feel particularly insulted. This is ironic since the French colonized the part of Michigan where Cadillac was a settlement. I found the whole commercial rude and incongruent with the spirit of cooperation of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. Poor timing. But I would agree with the author that if their incentive was to broaden appeal for hybrid and electric cars to a wealthier, less liberal audience, they hit it out of the park. But I’m not sure that kicking the weak kid on the playground in order to prove that you’re the strongest kid in school is a good illustration of your power.

  • I am not sure what message the ad is sending. In the last scene the guy appears in a Euro style fitted suit (un-American, that is) that is too tight around his waist (he
    doesn’t even know that the suit fits him poorly, see the the creases on his back in the picture above), wears a sports watch with a metal bracelet with the suit (clasps it proudly around his wrist, clearly doesn’t know better), and the jacket is worn with both front buttons buttoned (doesn’t even know how a jacket is worn). All speak volumes as to his lack of style. He then manages to utter two words in French – so it looks to me that the message this ad is trying to convey is that the nouveau riche buy electric cadillacs

  • Absolutely shameful advert – rude, disgusting and patently ignorant- and NBC should publicly apologize for airing it at all let along during the Olympics.

  • Holy #$%^M, I thought you were a classy young chap beyond superficiality. This ad is crass!

  • I’d like to say that I am on the far side of the spectrum that this ad should piss off and initially it did. How pompous, self righteous, egocentric, and brutish. I WANT to have August off though I can’t afford to take vacations. After seeing the commercial a few times I took it for what I think my part of the spectrum should feel and that’s comical. It jumps the shark. BUT…. As others have mentioned it’s supposed to cater to the 1%ers, not me, which brings me full circle back to my initial feelings. However this commercial could possibly be a very successful marketing campaign to reach an audience that doesn’t care about green technology. The people who proudly drive their Hummers without a care in the world, for the world. This commercial could sell new technology and bring innovation to the EV and PEV market. In turn it will bring down the prices for the rest of us.

    I LIKE this commercial because it uses psychology to open up a market for sustainability where none exists. They don’t have to sell the need for environmentally friendly cars to me, I’m already SOLD! But if just a portion of those Hummer drivers decide to take the challenge that Cadillac is presenting, the world will be a better place, even if it still pompous.

    Additionally, that ELR is SEXY and that is something else the EV and PEV industry is lacking.

  • For sale: Vintage French Infantry Rifle. Never Fired. Dropped Twice.

    • “For sale: Vintage French Infantry Rifle. Never Fired. Dropped Twice.”

      Jean Moulin and Verdun would like a word with you.

  • If I ever was thinking about buying a Cadillac, I sure won’t now. This ad is a total turn-off. It is one thing to praise the American work ethic, sure I get that. But you don’t have put down other people who may have different priorities in life. Overall this ad amply exposes GM’s intolerant, holier-than-thou, narrow-minded way of thinking.

  • I suspect it was meant to be over-the-top offensive to generate viral buzz….like this thread.

  • Anyone with an IQ above 80 knows “green energy” isn’t green and has an ROI registering in negative integers. In this country vacations are voluntary — your job may include one or two weeks of paid vacation, but you are free to take them pretty much whenever YOU decide you want to, or not take them at all, which is the case for a great many America business owners. As for those “other countries” — their government’s dictate their vacation schedules along with myriad “Bank Holidays.” Why do the whiners & cheese-eating surrender monkeys here believe it’s at all reasonable or in any way acceptable for these over-reaching Nanny Gubermints to have any say whatsoever in such matters?

    Great ad. Great message. But I still won’t buy a car from Government Motors.

    • You: “As for those ‘other countries’ — their government’s dictate their vacation schedules along with myriad ‘Bank Holidays.’ ”

      Ebenezer Scrooge: “A poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December!” said Scrooge, buttoning his great-coat to the chin. “But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning!”

      Congratulations, you’ve officially become more of a Scrooge then Ebenezer Scrooge.


  • Love that Cadillac add ! Now that is the true America we all know and love . Hard working , independent and self reliant people . A people who aren’t waiting around for a government had out . And yes Mr President We The People build that and not some fraud and usurper from Kenya .

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