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Docherty: Cadillac will revive 'art and science' theme

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Docherty: Cadillac will revive 'art and science' theme

Laura Clark Geist

Automotive News -- March 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- When Susan Docherty was marketing manager for the Escalade SUV in the late 1990s, Cadillac was shifting its brand positioning to what it called "art and science."

It worked pretty well, too. And now Docherty, who is in charge of marketing for General Motors Co., wants to return to that concept with a new ad campaign set to launch in three weeks.

The brand campaign "will highlight what we talked about over a decade ago with the Cadillac renaissance and really push the envelope of art and science," Docherty said in an interview.

In the early 2000s, Cadillac advertising focused on technology and the brand's sharp-edged design. Docherty said a return to those themes would enable the brand to target intenders of Tier 1 luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

She asked Kim Brink (formerly Kosak), former Chevrolet general advertising director, to return to Cadillac this month as executive director of advertising and sales promotion. Brink teamed with Docherty at Cadillac in the late 1990s.

Docherty said she will work with Brink and Don Butler, Cadillac general marketing director, to craft the new brand image.

The campaign 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, of Boston.

Docherty said Cadillac already has dropped the "Life. Liberty. And the Pursuit" tag line created by Modernista but will not resurrect "The Power of &," a tag line from a decade ago.

The ads created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty will feature all-new photography for print, digital and TV spots. Docherty said Cadillac will take "a fresh look" at its brand Web site, cadillac.com.

In GM's latest reorganization, announced this month, 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 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."

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100322/RETAIL03/303229956/1432#ixzz0iwBGYm8I

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Things that need to be on Cadillac's marketing to do list:

1. Create a website that doesn't take for ever to load.

2. Take better photographs.

3. Don't use computer game sound effects in advertising. Re: Laurel Sales Event ads.

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I like Art and Science, but art isn't droopy front drive overhangs and science isn't using the corporate 3 liter V6. So if they can bring out some more art like Aston Martin and Jaguar are able to do, and some science like self steering cars or cars that do 0-60 in 5 seconds and get 70 mpg like Mercedes is working on, then Cadillac has something.

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I like Art and Science, but art isn't droopy front drive overhangs and science isn't using the corporate 3 liter V6. So if they can bring out some more art like Aston Martin and Jaguar are able to do

Why should Caddy copy designs that are being aped by every other manufacturer, and look so bland and formulaic? The boldness, the sharpness of designs like the CTS actually conjure up emotion amongst passers-by, and stand out in the sea of increasing homogeneity in the urban landscape.

some science like self steering cars

I think that's more a mere gimmick than science; a devolution of the connection between Man and machine. Cadillac's mission should be to evolve that relationship with greater driving dynamics and feedback.

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Why should Caddy copy designs that are being aped by every other manufacturer, and look so bland and formulaic? The boldness, the sharpness of designs like the CTS actually conjure up emotion amongst passers-by, and stand out in the sea of increasing homogeneity in the urban landscape.

I think that's more a mere gimmick than science; a devolution of the connection between Man and machine. Cadillac's mission should be to evolve that relationship with greater driving dynamics and feedback.

I didn't mean make it look like an Aston Martin, I just meant make cars that look like Art, in the same way Aston does. Aston Martin makes cars you can stare at all day, Cadillac needs to do that, but with the edgy, sharp styling that the Evoq concept had.

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Why return to a marketing theme that played out almost ten years?

"Life, Liberty & The Pursuit" was a perfect tag-line for Cadillac because it encapsulated exactly what Cadillac was to every person in the USA and what it should one day be again- a symbol that you've finally arrived.

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"Art & Science" was the name for the design language that basically has continued since, but it was also used in print ads by name back when it debuted. Re-introducing it is not necessarily inconsistent, IMO.

But I did prefer "Life...", too. Will have to see how it materializes.

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On that end I loved that old Caddy ad with the line that went something along the lines of "Every American who ever had a dream dreamed of driving a Cadillac. It's time to start dreaming again"

The "Crest" ad that Modernista! did was also quite possibly the best Cadillac ad in decades:

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On that end I loved that old Caddy ad with the line that went something along the lines of "Every American who ever had a dream dreamed of driving a Cadillac. It's time to start dreaming again"

The "Crest" ad that Modernista! did was also quite possibly the best Cadillac ad in decades:

I just watched that and, yes great ad.

Attention to detail like that is what they need to show the luxury world.

the only thing i would have done differently is have the Cadillac written instead of digitaly put on there.

Edit: maybe with a quill pen :P

Edited by CanadianBacon94
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I liked the Breakthrough ads, the Crest ad is boring. Although nothing was worse than the Kate Walsh ads. Even though the ads have been weak, I still think product is a bigger problem than advertising.

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