Cadillac said 2017 would be a year to flex its marketing muscles ahead of its first all-new product, the Cadillac XT4 crossover, next year. So far, we’ve seen major ad campaigns from the brand at the 2017 Oscars and the MTV Video Music Awards. However, one ad garnered much more attention this year.
If you’ll recall, Cadillac grabbed audiences with its “Carry” advertisement, which debuted during the Oscars this year. The ad featured scenes of protest and calamity following the 2016 presidential election. However, Cadillac attempted to bridge the spectrum with a unifying tone and painted the brand as one for all. “We’ve had the privilege to carry a century of humanity,” the ad proclaims while showing photos of Muhammad Ali and former President Eisenhower.
The brand’s CMO Uwe Ellinghaus recently commented on the political risks the brand took when releasing the ad, but as it turns out, the ad was well received on every side of the political spectrum.
“Some [brands] just got a shit storm on social media for their efforts,” he said at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Florida, reported by Ad Week. With the ad, Cadillac wanted to speak to all sides, well aware the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, represents the brand. He is chauffered in Cadillac limousine, the Beast, with a new Cadillac limo forthcoming.
“It’s a credible source if it comes from Cadillac that we say dear America, we need to come together,” he said. “We didn’t want to fuel the political divide; we wanted to transcend it.”
Ellinghaus recalls he received a letter from Breitbart News calling the ad the best pro-Trump spot it had seen. Following that, readers of The New York Times contacted the CMO and said it was the best anti-Trump ad.
Clearly, Cadillac’s message resonated on both sides of the political spectrum.