WHAT: Cadillac’s Oscar night commercial tries to bridge the divide among the American people.
WHO: Cadillac, Publicis New York
WHY WE CARE: Oh c’mon! Look, vintage footage of protests and beloved heroes are always a short-cut to that soft, emotional lump inside our brains that is most vulnerable to marketing messages. And it’s there that Cadillac is aiming with Hawkeye precision. Not long ago, Jeff Goodby asked in The Wall Street Journal if marketing had the power to bring us together, through our shared needs like toothpaste and diapers. Or in this case, luxury automobiles. An ad like this will test that theory.
For some, it will be pure goosebumps and warm n’ fuzzy Americana. For others, crass emotional manipulation at a moment of weakness. But regardless of what you think about the ad itself, perhaps most disappointing, confusing, and downright mind-numbingly corporate, is how Cadillac swears this isn’t a statement on the current social and political climate. With Cadillac’s director of brand marketing Melody Lee telling AdAge the ad is “neither a political or social statement.” Puh-lease. Here the brand is pulling a Super Bowl Budweiser, trying to appear brave while not actually standing for anything.