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Cadillac will heavily push technology -- including a new "night vision" system -- in what is likely to be a yearlong campaign breaking this fall for the new 2000 DeVille.

Brand Manager Patrick Kemp said the General Motors Corp. division will spend "the biggest part" of its annual ad budget on the DeVille, although the final figure hasn't been set.

In 1998, Cadillac received $214 million in measured media support, according to Competitive Media Reporting.

Creative is being prepared by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., and the Cadillac theme of "art and science" -- emphasizing Cadillac's history of technological innovation -- will be highlighted. It has not been decided if that phrase will be the tagline, Mr. Kemp said.

The DeVille ads will run mostly on network TV, with some cable, he said.

The new model will begin arriving in showrooms by Labor Day, with ads slated to start around November.


"I see us running the launch campaign for a solid year," said Mr. Kemp. "We don't have that finalized yet, but everyone is going to know this car as it comes blasting out of the chute."

Loading on high-tech features is seen as a way to keep the DeVille's traditional 60-plus buyers while drawing in 50-ish baby boomers, he said. New technology that improves safety and convenience rates highly with both groups.

"What we're doing is trying to target the baby boomers without alienating our current customers," he said. "It's kind of a bridge strategy. You don't walk away from your owners."

The new models will be pitched via direct marketing to current owners.

Cadillac sold 49,649 DeVilles in the first six months of this year, making it the best-selling luxury model in the U.S., according to Automotive News. The nearest competitor was the Lincoln Town Car, with 44,676 sales.


The night vision system features infrared heat-sensing technology to provide drivers with a "heads-up" view of road hazards projected on the lower windshield. Based on military technology used in the Persian Gulf War, it will be offered as an option on the DeVille Touring Sedan -- DTS -- and the DeVille High Luxury Sedan -- DHS -- versions, Mr. Kemp said.

In addition to night vision, the DeVille will feature an ultrasonic sensing system to alert drivers to obstacles when backing up; separate climate controls for the driver, front passenger and rear seats; light-emitting diode taillights; a CD-based navigation system; variable road-sensing suspension; and a stability-control system.

Ads will stress the consumer benefits of different features, Mr. Kemp said.

But, "At the end of the day, night vision is really the hero," he said. "We will

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