General Motors Corp.’s first work for Cadillac from new agency Modernista, Boston, aims to “put a little lust back into the brand.”
So said Liz Vanzura, marketing director of the luxury marquee, in unveiling new print work from the agency that replaced Leo Burnett, Detroit and Chicago, as the brand drops the former shop’s “Break Through” ads after a four-year run. Ms. Vanzura said the new push aims to boost consideration of the Cadillac brand among three main targets younger than its current owners. She calls them alphas, hot moms and move-ups. “Our mission is to reignite people’s love affair with Cadillac,” she said.
Cadillac still plans to keep its loyal older owners, and while it wants to attract more baby boomers, Ms. Vanzura said this group is the most difficult to reach because “they are really stuck on Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW and see no reason to switch.”
Startling research findings
She said extensive consumer research earlier this year revealed some startling findings: Many younger consumers knew Cadillac’s Escalade sport utility, but were unfamiliar with other models. Many didn’t see the brand as having a vehicle for them.
Ms. Vanzura said the new blitz will “romance” the brand’s crested logo to show off its iconic nature. Gary Koepke, executive creative director and co-founder of Modernista, said Cadillac’s print has a three-pronged approach. Some work highlights the crest; other shows people “to inject an attitude”; and the rest focuses on a single product to help build model awareness.
Print is rolling out in August magazines, and TV spots are expected later in the month. In mid-August, Cadillac, for the first time, will use wild postings in key markets.
Ms. Vanzura declined to discuss spending but said it will be comparable to 2005. Cadillac spent $226 million in measured U.S. media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
The median age of Cadillac buyers across its lineup is 59, although Jim Taylor, general marketing manager of Cadillac, said it dropped from 64 since the 2002 model year, when the CTS sedan launched to replace the Catera.
But Cadillac has a dilemma in trying to retain its older buyers while chasing younger ones. Cadillac is “trying to split its image” by keeping the DTS and STS sedans that appeal more to retirees, said Wes Brown, auto analyst with Iceology. MORE