Cadillac CTS: A Marketing 50 Case Study

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Cadillac figured it had a "game-changing product" with the second-generation CTS sedan, which sported a new, aggressive grill and engine and a more upscale interior, says John Howell, product-marketing manager.

A launch TV spot still airing features actress Kate Walsh delivering the line that Mr. Howell says had "amazing recall": "When you turn your car on, does it return the favor?"

General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac started beating the drums for the redone CTS online four months before the main ad blitz started in September 2007. Measured-media spending from then through last June hit $184 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

CTS is the only model in Cadillac's lineup with higher sales this year. GM says U.S. sales of the CTS rose 15% through October, to 51,576, vs. the same 10 months a year ago. Plus, Mr. Howell, 51, says the car's average transaction price continues to be between $8,000 and $10,000 higher than the old model's.
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