February 24, 2017

"We've had the privilege to carry a century of humanity. But maybe what we carry isn’t just people, it's an idea: that while we're not the same, we can be one."

Cadillac's ad (to play during the Oscars):



I got there via "Cadillac Ad Tries to Bridge Nation’s Chasm, Without Falling In," by James B. Stewart (in the NYT), who compares this ad to Audi's Super Bowl ad (which we talked about here). Stewart writes:
Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer of Global Cadillac, said, “We can have a point of view without adding fuel to any controversial political debate."...  [But] “I didn’t see how we could shy away from the division in the country,” he said. “We didn’t want to enter the political debate. We wanted to transcend it.”

Perhaps it took two non-Americans — Mr. Sadoun is French, Mr. Ellinghaus is German — to suggest that by acknowledging the divide, an ad campaign might actually help heal it. After all, America had been divided before in its history — at times far more than now. (Hence the image of a civil rights demonstration.) The nation had overcome the divisions, moved forward and prospered, the American dream intact.

For many years (though not in recent decades), the Cadillac brand embodied that dream. Perhaps Cadillac’s ad could remind Americans of the nation’s resilience and inherent optimism, and “celebrate what America is capable of,” Mr. Ellinghaus said....

“Cadillac realizes that it needs to connect with buyers emotionally,” Ms. Sewell said. “That’s never been more true than now in the luxury space.” In the ad, Cadillac is identified with “unity, optimism, courage — the great American values,” she said. “I think dealers and customers, too, are hungry to hear something positive like this.”

77 comments:

MayBee said...

When you think about it, we are divided but over so little. It's like we all have the privilege to think about our differences and let them stew. We're arguing over the stupidest shit, not over survival level things.

FWBuff said...

It's a very comforting add for those who can afford to drive their Cadillacs with their windows rolled up and their doors locked past their poor part of town.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Creative" people sure do seem stuck on stale these days.

Cool old cars in the ad, though.

Amexpat said...

Cadillac, a good car to drive during the culture war.

MayBee said...

But also, you notice we didn't get these "we're divided" ads when Obama was president and we were divided by him

Sebastian said...

Sorry, GMers. Healing is for pussies. Bridges are for bozos. Your corporate Aufhebung assumes that the other side has anything to contribute. Not so: in the progressive dialectic, the deplorable servants are there to be destroyed.

Michael K said...

Cadillac had better stick to its knitting and stay away from the culture war. GM already enough trouble to risk more.

We got too many cars in America today! Particularly from the Big Three automakers, which, perhaps anticipating 2016's sales to beat the record we saw last year, overproduced to the point of nearly-unhealthy excess inventory. The lack of sedan and small car demand has really hurt sales of certain models as well. Here’s The Detroit News summing up that situation, with particular attention to what it means for General Motors:

I haven't bought a GM car since Obama bailed them out and stiffed the bond holders.

Besides, nobody is watching the Oscars anymore.

buwaya said...

Its not a little in the division, its a very great deal.
Unfortunately very few want to look at the parts that are truly big.

Cadillac and its products are a component of the big part of the division, its fate (or of some equivalent) is in the implied desiderata of one side or the other. On one side, it exists, on the other it doesnt.

Static Ping said...

I liked the ad. I didn't love the ad, but it felt like its heart was in the right place. At the end it did generate a feeling of "I may not agree, but we can get along." It was certainly better than the elitist Audi ad which was visually beautiful and very ugly inside.

The problem is the past eight years have made it clear that while we as Americans in the general sense can get along, the Democratic Party's and SJW movement's goals are to keep us as divided as possible for their own purposes. They keep re-opening old wounds and creating new ones. "Do what you want and leave me alone" appears to be a heresy. You can't give someone a hug and knee him in the groin at the same time and then say how wonderful the hug was.

surfed said...

Back when I was a child in the middle of the last century my neighborhood was full of Chevrolets, Fords and Dodges. Cadillacs were for rich people. The conmercial (did I just mistype and invent a word?) was ... ok. No Simon and Garfunkel tune to tug at the heartstrings like the Bernie campaign last year.

Achilles said...

I would really like to "bridge the gap." But I am doing it with people that call me a racist bigot homophobe.

I am setting up a content site that is forcing me to use Facebook. I unfallowed someone after the first article they argued we were all racist and the second one we wanted to ban birth control AND sterilize women.

I don't want to bridge the gap with people who want to erase our borders and hate me and the culture that makes this country what it is. These people are not rational and many more than a little demented. I have been shouted down and bullied for decades. It is time they grew up.

traditionalguy said...

I do my part for South Koreans. The US Military has done its part since June 1950. And the Hyundai Genesis is a much vehicle better than the Cadillac CTS.

David Begley said...

Dare. Dare to be great again. Buy American.

It is a Trump commercial.

Roughcoat said...

Platitudinous horseshit.

Quayle said...

Oh yes, only now they can admit that they were happy to carry all of humanity, for all those years.

Except at the time they never wanted the washed portion of humanity to know it.

Bay Area Guy said...

Shorter Cadillac Ad campaign:

Fuckit - Republicans buy a lotta Caddies. Not wise to go full Audi on them.

madAsHell said...

Remember when Starbucks directed their baristas to discuss race with the customers? How did that work out?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Eh Cadillacs are tacky. No one cool drives them.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Achilles, FB is still for a few things besides keeping up with old friends and seeing a photo of what your SIL ordered for dinner at the new Thai restaurant in town.

Despite Zuckerberg's wishes, you can still pick up useful info there. For instance, on Milo's Facebook page, there is a video on Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In 1977, she co-authored a report for the ACLU "Sex Bias in the US Code" which recommended changing the Age of Consent to 12. Ginsburg wanted a repeal of the Mann Act.

But let's burn Milo at the stake.

(Sorry for the OT comment, Althouse.)

Roughcoat said...

When you think about it, we are divided but over so little.

When I think about it, I see enormous divisions. Vast gulfs. Huge chasms.
Irreconcilable differences.

CJ said...

Why do these ad wizards think that the country hasn't been divided until now. Where have they been the last 8 years?

Oh...right. Only Democrats' feelings of division matter.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I have fond memories of a Cadillac because a hs boyfriend of mine inherited his rich uncle's old Caddy when said uncle died. The backseat was more spacious than my first apartment.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

When I think about it, I see enormous divisions. Vast gulfs. Huge chasms.
Irreconcilable differences.


I agree.

One side claims to believe in Darwin, but spends all its time talking about mitigating or abolishing the core operative mechanism of Darwin which is inequality.

The other 6 billion people believe in a God.

Known Unknown said...

I've always preferred this Cadillac ad because it it's true.

John said...

My first thought was "racist".

Racist in the same sense that a watermelon ad showing only a black kid would be racist.

Doesn't everyone know that the ambition of every black man is to own a Cadillac with a white chauffeur and blond woman beside him? And perhaps a trunkful of fried chickens and watermelons.

Or, perhaps, the black man in the picture is the chauffeur and the owner has sent him out to wipe off some bird droppings.

I've never understood the point of aspiring to a Cadillac. Especially those 1950's-60's models that you could land a small aircraft in.

I don't like the car, don't like the company, and don't like the ad.

But maybe it's just me and I've overthinking again.

John Henry

Roughcoat said...

My heart has been unalterably hardened toward the left. After 8 years of having the progressive left's political and cultural agenda rammed down America's collective throat, I have no intention of accepting, compromising, or reconciling with the left in any way. I support the waging of total war with the aim of destroying the left. I've had it up to here with compromise, which the intolerant left never does anyway.

John said...

OK. Now I realized it was a video, played it and I think it is a fine ad.

Still don't like the car or the company, though.

John Henry

Anthony said...


This one is still my favorite: N'est–ce pas?


MayBee said...
But also, you notice we didn't get these "we're divided" ads when Obama was president and we were divided by him


Yeah. When liberals hate a conservative, that's because the conservative is divisive. When conservatives hate a liberal, it's because the conservatives are haters. Heads they win, tails we lose, ad nauseum.

Michael K said...

I liked that 1954 Cadillac in the ad. I can still tell the year and model of cars from that era. Nothing since 1980.

The 1954 Cadillac was solid and reassuring and told you that life would go on as usual and there was no real danger that could hurt you.

We never had one but it was good to see them on the street.

Then I grew up and went off to college and learned what the world was like.

John said...

Aw, Michael. I am disappointed. I thought all doctors drove Cadillacs

Andy Kelp would only steal cars with MD plates since I figured doctors knew about luxury.

John Henry

John said...

Since he figured...

Bill Peschel said...

Cadillac's an ugly car. That's the bottom line.

You can thank the EPA, which places higher demands on auto manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency, so they have to redesign their cars to meet them. Goodbye fins.

Now that they can't meet those ever-increasing standards, they're forced to cheat.

And those assholes who work only two weeks a year that's bragged about in that shitty Cadillac ad? Those who like that are the Type A types who make their own jobs. The ones on the line who break their bodies down to meet quotas, they'd rather take the month off, thank you.

Of course, with automation, those filthy deplorable's be gone, so there's that.

N'cest pas? *wink*

Kate said...

"Cadillac realizes it needs to connect with its customers emotionally."

How about just a good laugh? Go watch a Preston Sturges movie and get back to me.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Maybe it's just me, but I have no interest in letting an advertisement teach me new ways to look at the world. Audi, Cadillac, Coke, whatever.

Just appeal to me to buy your products, I don't need to hear your opinions. On anything. The unrelenting seriousness, in every aspect of our lives today, is getting oppressive. Lighten up, Francis.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just appeal to me to buy your products, I don't need to hear your opinions.

Exactly!!!

Hey....Cadillac.....we are buying cars. How about you tell us about your product. If I want to be lectured or preached at I'll go to church.

And,please.....stop with the smarmy music.

Michael K said...

"Aw, Michael. I am disappointed. I thought all doctors drove Cadillacs"

I did have a couple of Mercedes eventually.

In the old days, when I was young, doctors mostly drove Buicks.

The MD stuff on cars was a thief magnet, mostly looking for drugs. I also avoided parking in doctor's parking lots after my car was keyed twice.

Two friends of mine, both orthopedic surgeons (husband and wife) in DC, drove old rattletrap cars to work but had nice Mercedes at home in Chevy Chase. One did the total hips for Averill Harriman.

buwaya said...

Fuel efficiency in itself is a silly objective. Far more fuel use, resource use and pollution come from making the car in the first place, the manufacturing process, than using the car.
This is the sort of bureaucratic goal selection by decree, that removes reason, perspective and judgement.

DanTheMan said...

I was waiting for "Hard Cut ---- Cheetos!"

Michael K said...

"Fuel efficiency in itself is a silly objective."

It began when gas lines made the point. As usual, it persisted long after it made no sense.

We still have the March of Dimes long after Polio.

mockturtle said...

I hope no one actually sees the commercial because they have better things to do besides spending the evening watching Hollywood fawning over itself. I wouldn't watch it if they gave me a Cadillac.

traditionalguy said...

In 1952 there was a hot summer in Atlanta, with several days that reached 205F and 207F. And that's when my Great Uncle bought him a new Cadillac...and it had a new option called air conditioning. There were 2 big clear tubes coming off the rear window ledge blowing cold air into the roof area. I don't remember any front dashboard ducts. But it stood out seen from behind.

We were impressed.

Gerrard787 said...

Great. People will be preached at during the Oscars and during the commercial breaks.

Hugh Shannon said...

Traditional guy--wow love the further proof that global warming is a hoax. Only 65 years ago it got over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't get near that hit in Atlanta anymore, even in summertime!

Paul Zrimsek said...

I was curious about what Cadillac was doing all this time when they should have been fixing CUE and coming up with a decent motor for the ATS.

rehajm said...

I haven't bought a GM car since Obama bailed them out and stiffed the bond holders.

Cadillac as a brand has been adrift for decades. Why GM doesn't just kill it is beyond me. Currently there's conflict with the Cadillac brand identity and the GM leftie Obama holdovers. Remember those ads with the gay fashion designer and Woz laying on the couch harping about giving away his product for free? Who were they trying to sell cars to?

It is a Trump commercial.

This is the Cadillac Trump commercial. Fukin' A.

All that said this isn't the worst commercial they've ever done. I'm not sure who would feel alienated. Marilyn standing in front of that huge gun ship is a great image. Might work better in a print ad, though.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

a hot summer in Atlanta, with several days that reached 205F and 207F

I can attest that with all the humidity in Atlanta in the summer it really feels like 200+ degrees.

Deb said...

"In 1952 there was a hot summer in Atlanta, with several days that reached 205F and 207F."


Don't call it Hotlanta for nothing.

St. George said...

And smoke Marlboros while you're at it.

Patriotism is the last refuge of desperate ad men.

buwaya said...

" Only 65 years ago it got over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn't get near that hit in Atlanta anymore, even in summertime!"

In the right place, under the right circumstances, and with 100% humidity it can certainly feel that way.

ken in tx said...

In a marketing course I had in the 70s, I learned that GM deliberately marketed Cadillacs to successful blacks in the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The theory was that since they were limited by discrimination in housing, the next best way to demonstrate their success was by driving a Caddy. I remember a black comedian joking on Johnny Carson, that the day the new Caddys came out was an official holiday in the black community.

mockturtle said...

The only people I know with Cadillacs drive the Escalade, which is supposedly an SUV. Pretentious BS, I say. If you want a great SUV get a Toyota Land Cruiser. But at least they bought American. My only vehicle at present is my small motorhome built on a 4X4 Chevy Silverado one-ton truck chassis. I like it. Beats the crap out of a Ford, IMO.

buwaya said...

"If you want a great SUV get a Toyota Land Cruiser."

The favorite vehicles of irregular warriors everywhere.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_War

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DanTheMan said...

>>Why do these ad wizards think that the country hasn't been divided until now. Where have they been the last 8 years?

On the right side of history, silly. Not over here with us deplorables.

And the country was NOT divided during the last 8 years. All the right-thinking people were already together, and the other half of the country just refused to accept their wonderfulness. That's not technically "divided".

SayAahh said...

They should have shown Rodney "can we all get along" King in riding in a Cadillac hearse.

rehajm said...

Patriotism is the last refuge of desperate ad men.

Heh.

Martin said...

Maybe they could just try to convince people that Cadillac makes a good car, and they should consider buying one? Or on an emotional level, it's a prestige vehicle and driving it reflects well on you, etc.?

Instead of going where they have no business going, and just by doing that, picking at people's scabs?

As Freud famously said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

Audi and Caddy notwithstanding, a car is just a car.

mockturtle said...

Unknown has now sunk to selling snake oil. How appropriate.

mockturtle said...

Appealing to patriotism of the left is a waste of time and money. The left hates America and everything she stands for.

Seeing Red said...

So goes GM, so goes the USA.


GM is a mortgage company that happens to sell cars as a subsidiary.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Unknown has now sunk to selling snake oil. How appropriate

LOL!

exiledonmainstreet said...

Now, now, mockturtle that is the smartest post I have ever seen from "Unknown."

"Brain issues" - now that explains much.

mockturtle said...

Now, now, mockturtle that is the smartest post I have ever seen from "Unknown."

I admit it is probably the most substantive.

JaimeRoberto said...

That was worse than those Lincoln ads with Matthew McConaughey. At least those aren't preachy.

DanTheMan said...

>>GM is a mortgage company that happens to sell cars as a subsidiary.

GM is a pension fund that has a manufacturing division.

Unknown said...

I'd sell you some more Trump snake oil, but you good folks would no doubt overdose on it.🐍

jaydub said...

Just sell the effing cars and forget about the social commentary. Nobody is going to buy a Caddie because they think GM wants everyone to get along. There aren't any lefties that I want to get along with because they're power hungry statists who need to be squashed, Caddie or no Caddie.

mockturtle said...

IMO, companies that are trying to 'unite' the country are creating unnecessary problems for themselves. And those blatantly preaching are shooting themselves in the foot.

cubanbob said...

It's a PSA, not a commercial ad. Nothing about it makes me even want to consider buying a Cadillac.

William said...

Syntax in headline is awful. Can't anyone write any more?

William said...

Whoops! Anymore = adverb. Duh!

Darrell said...

People are talking past each other on this thread. Known Unknown was the first to link the Neal McDonough Cadillac commercial at 10:18. rehajm and Anthony posted links to the same commercial later. We are so divided.

Jeff Teal said...

Strange Caddies have always represented the overly pretentious too much chrome stick it in your face bankers wives sort of people to me.that and the preacher that has twenty flashy suits and a real line of BS.

urbane legend said...

John said...

I've never understood the point of aspiring to a Cadillac. Especially those 1950's-60's models that you could land a small aircraft in.


I always thought the 1959 Cadillac Coupe Deville should have had a helicopter landing platform between those fins.

rehajm said...

People are talking past each other on this thread. Known Unknown was the first to link the Neal McDonough Cadillac commercial at 10:18. rehajm and Anthony posted links to the same commercial later. We are so divided.

David posted he believed the 'Carry' as was pro Trump which for me brought to mind the more pro Trump nature of the McDonough ad. Reading further Known Unknown had already posted a link to the McDonough ad. Anthony posted a second link to the ad seven minutes after Known Unknown. Given the time to write up the html language for the link as well as a quote of another poster it's entirely plausible Anthony had not read Known's post since Known's post wasn't posted when Anthony began. But no matter. Bill Peschel then commented negatively about the ad which motivated me to post and a link to the McDonough ad. Having seen the previous posters links to that ad I considered only referencing the other posters but I was enjoying the on topic but slightly subversive nature of the multiple linking, the redundancy and, given the posting order, the utilization of a comedic three.

Where you see talking past each other I see harmonic posting.

Jim Gust said...

I believe the music in the commercial is by Ennio Morricone, borrowed from "The Mission." A great film. I hope he got his royalties.