Perhaps it’s a reaction to the reputation of car ads, too often cluttered with flashy driving and product feature shots, but Cadillac has gone long on mood and short on sheet metal and specs with its latest brand campaign, “Dare Greatly.”
The campaign’s launch spot, from agency Publicis, is an atmospheric car’s eye view of New York City, accompanied by a selected reading of former President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 “Citizen in a Republic” speech at the Sorbonne in Paris. The “Man in the Arena” section is what Cadillac is going for here, a nod to taking chances, damn the critics.
Between the thoughtful speech and the overall lack of traditional car ad tropes, the spots lands somewhere between Lincoln’s McConnaughey monologues and Levi’s tapping Walt Whitman. It’s a major shift in direction and a huge departure from the brand’s high profile, and highly polarizing “Poolside” spot, featuring actor Neal McDonough getting aggressive about the American work ethic. Additional ads will appear during the Oscars broadcast on February 22.