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By Published on .

Cadillac is trying to convince consumers the redesigned Seville is competitive with German luxury cars, and so far the pitch is working.

The General Motors Corp. division launched an integrated campaign in March that included cable TV, radio, outdoor and transit ads. The initial schedule was to reach 90% of targeted buyers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and West Palm Beach, Fla., six to eight times during a four-week period.

Cadillac also paid about $1.4 million last month to air a 30-second TV commercial on the final episode of NBC's "Seinfeld."

Seville sales, through May, are running 23.9% ahead of the same period last year, although they are still behind the Mercedes-Benz E class. Unit sales through May were 19,554 for E class and 15,224 for Seville.


Cadillac also advertised on the most popular radio stations in the 15 target markets. As part of that deal, disc jockeys at those stations did live broadcasts with the Seville on display.

"We generated over 20,000 leads from those live remotes," said Ed Berger, Seville brand manager. "They are people who don't currently own a Cadillac Seville, but said they were interested in more information."

Cadillac will continue its ad campaign for the Seville through '98. Last year, the GM unit spent nearly $44 million on measured media support for the Seville in the U.S., according to Competitive Media Reporting. D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., is the agency.

As summer approaches, with vacations and TV reruns, Cadillac will lessen the number of TV commercials it airs. Instead, it will begin a campaign to market directly to consumers.

The May/June issue of Neiman Marcus Co.'s The Book catalog features a spread on the Seville, and the vehicle was put on display in Neiman Marcus' 30 stores last month.

"The demographics of Neiman Marcus customers match our target buyer and quite a few of them drive competing vehicles," said a Cadillac spokesman.


Seville's target buyer is 35 to 64 years old, with a household income of at least $100,000.

Cadillac is offering shoppers bonus points on their Neiman Marcus credit cards in exchange for test driving a Seville.

Similar programs are scheduled at other malls this summer.

While some media buys for the Seville were aimed at narrow demographics, such as viewers of the Weather Channel, Cadillac bought 80% of the display ad space in New York's World Trade Center.

Mr. Washington is a staff reporter with Automotive News.

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