Published on .

March 28, 2001

By Jean Halliday

DETROIT ( -- General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac division today took the wraps off the launch campaign for its 2002 Cadillac Escalade sport utility vehicle. The redone SUV debuts in a

The new Escalade.
60-second spot April 7 during the Master's golf tournament on CBS.

The spot, in which the Escalade successfully eludes pursuing traffic cones that turn into missiles, will also air in more than 14,000 movie theaters.

Custom radio stations
Bcom3's D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., is behind the campaign. The agency created "interactive billboards" that will direct consumers to tune in to a make-believe radio station that spoofs various radio-style formats that weave the SUV into the short broadcasts. The effort consists of 45 boards in 14 markets.

The push, which will run nearly all year, also includes a DVD-ROM game via direct mail offering a chance to win the SUV and an Escalade message on the wireless Online Airline Guide that will appear while users are awaiting flight information.

The base price of the SUV is $49,900.

Younger customers targeted
"Escalade has a key role to play in Cadillac's renaissance," said Mike O'Malley, general marketing manager of the division. He called the SUV "the forerunner for a whole new group of [Cadillac] products" that will help the brand attract younger and affluent customers.

Owners of the first Escalade, which rolled out as a 1999 model, have an average age of 51 vs. 62 for Cadillac owners overall.

Escalade will get roughly half the division's measured media spending this year, which could translate to an estimated nearly $80 million. Last year, Escalade got $28 million in measured media, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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