Cadillac's new "art and science" brand theme seems to have been inexpressible in mere words.
The General Motors Corp. luxury division's new tagline is "The power of &," followed by "The fusion of design & technology." The ampersand is only used as a symbol in print; it is pronounced "and" in TV voice-overs, Cadillac officials said. This is Cadillac's first step in a divisional ad effort to rebuild sales.
National print ads break Nov. 15 explaining the concept, which Cadillac copy says represents "the way two things together equal more than they total apart." Ads also tell readers to watch for the first TV spots, starting tonight on ABC's "NFL Monday Night Football."
Patrick Sherwood, president of Cadillac agency D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., said he thinks consumers will understand that the ampersand represents the fusion of design and technology.
"We believe that to younger, Internet-savvy people, this kind of vocabulary is kind of shorthand for the way people are communicating in a dot-com world," Mr. Sherwood said.
MONTAGE OF IMAGES
The two spots, which represent Cadillac's first division advertising in several years, use a montage of images to put across Cadillac's theme. "The Power," the initial spot, shows an ampersand linking non-automotive opposites, such as men and women, as well as Cadillac design and technology.
The second spot, "Power to the People," displays specific Cadillac benefits, such as the night-vision system debuting as an option in the 2000 DeVille. Actor Dermot Mulroney, of "My Best Friend's Wedding," does voice-over.
DeVille ads, which will break Nov. 29, will use the new tag, as will all model-line ads, in an attempt to build a singular brand image.
"You will have a consistent voice across executions," Mr. Sherwood said. "You will see consistent graphics across executions."
One DeVille ad, for example, called "All Systems Go," will harp on Cadillac's technological edge, focusing on advances such as the night vision and OnStar global-positioning system.
Cadillac Advertising Manager Kim Kosak said the division's spending for 1999 and 2000 will not rise significantly from the $214 million in measured media for 1998 reported by Competitive Media Reporting.
But, Ms. Kosak said, spending will be more effective with divisional and model-line ads in sync.
Divisional and DeVille ads will run through yearend, including a billboard in Times Square that Cadillac hopes will include a night-vision demonstration. Cadillac is also restyling its Web site (cadillac.com) around the new tagline, she said.
DeVille will have three TV spots. Beginning Jan. 3, the Escalade sport-utility will run one spot and Seville will run two. Print-only campaigns for Catera and Eldorado break Jan. 17 and Feb. 14, respectively, with regional ads starting Feb. 7, Ms. Kosak said.
Copyright November 1999, Crain Communications Inc.