Docherty: Cadillac to Return to 'Art and Science' Brand Positioning

GM Marketing Head Says New Ads From BBH Will Target Consumers Who Plan to Buy Luxury Cars

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DETROIT ( -- Susan Docherty, who heads marketing for General Motors Co., plans to return to Cadillac's "art and science" brand positioning that she championed while marketing manager for the Escalade SUV in the late 1990s.

Susan Docherty
Susan Docherty
The goal is to return to that concept with a new ad campaign set to launch in three weeks, she told Automotive News, that will "highlight what we talked about over a decade ago with the Cadillac renaissance and really push the envelope of art and science."

In the early 2000s, Cadillac advertising focused on technology and the brand's sharp-edged design with a campaign that used the tagline "The Power of &." Ms. Docherty said a return to those themes would enable the brand to target consumers who intend to purchase luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, though the tagline won't return.

Ms. Docherty asked Kim Brink (formerly Kosak), former Chevrolet general advertising director, to return to Cadillac this month as executive director-advertising and sales promotion. Ms. Brink teamed with Ms. Docherty at Cadillac in the late 1990s. Along with Ms. Brink, Ms. Docherty said she will work with Don Butler, Cadillac general marketing director, to craft the new brand image.

The push will be the first work from Cadillac's new national advertising agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The New York agency was hired in January to replace Modernista, Boston. Ms. Docherty said Cadillac already has dropped the "Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit" tagline created by Modernista.

The new ads created by BBH will feature all-new photography for print, digital and TV spots. Ms. Docherty said Cadillac will take "a fresh look" at its brand website,

In GM's latest reorganization, announced this month, Ms. Docherty lost the sales and service responsibilities that she had held along with her marketing duties. She said that was a "smart move" on the part of GM North American boss Mark Reuss because it would also allow her to focus on GM's brands.

The new sales and marketing team "has a lot to do," she said. "We're all impatient" (for results) "and we should be."

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Laura Clark Geist writes for Automotive News

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