Ad Break: 1988 Cadillac Style Commercial Is… Stylish23
Introducing the Cadillac Style ad campaign is this 1988 commercial featuring folks enjoying all kinds of (upscale?) activities, including polo, fencing, and tennis — along with other cool things like dancing, celebrating, cruising on luxury yachts and flying on private jets. And of course, there are plenty of shots of Caddys, including an Allante, Eldorado, and Fleetwood, some of which are tackling the twisties at what can only be imagined as high speed.
Our favorite part of the ad, by a long shot, is at the 0:38 mark, when a black Allante convertible —
driven by an attractive blonde — passes a Mercedes-Benz SL. But it’s not about the Allante passing the Benz, as much as it is about the way in which the passing maneuver is carried out… with disgust on the face of the (blonde) Cadillac driver.
Postscript: upon further examination, it appears that the blonde was driving the Benz, rather than the Caddy. Thanks to USA1 for bringing this to my attention.
The Only Way to Travel is Cadillac Style
Now that you’ve watched the clip featuring the good ol’ Caddy land barges of yore, did you notice that all of the actors in the ad were of a single race?
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“Now that you’ve watched the clip featuring the good ol’ Caddy land barges of yore, did you notice how all of the actors in the ad were of one single race?”
Sales demographics of the time as understood by advertisers.
I’m no demographer, but I like to think that Cadillac knows better nowadays. I mean, Lt. Daniels approves of the CTS, and he led some of the greatest drug busts in Balitimore.
Lexus who…Wow… I remember certain parts of that commercial scary.
BEST car commercial and jingle ever! I like the shooting and the mountain being blown up by Cadillac owners, yeah! Everything was great in the ad (except the cars), wow those FWD ‘Cads didn’t age well. Still like the Brougham though.
I saw other races in the ad, mainly Asians, oh, wait, they were Cauc-asians.
Perhaps you are too visually focused and thus failed to notice that the male singer was most probably “not white”. I find your snarky innuendo that Cadillac was targeting whites only in 1988 to be not cute, especially in view of the fact that Ellie Torre (hispanic) was the assistant general sales manager in charge of marketing at the time.
1. Who is the performer of the jingle?
2. There is no “snarky innuendo” about it. Is the observation that the ad does not show any other race except for white not accurate? In other words, are there non-white races in the commercial?
Keep in mind that all this doesn’t necessarily make the ad (or the brand) racist, which seems to be what you’re implying.
Alex, I see nothing racist in this ad at all….what is wrong with some people making everything something negative??
Dan — neither do I. All I was doing was pointing out the obvious.
Perhaps Henri misunderstood the purpose…
Alex, not saying you said anything wrong….it just shows how people get crazy for no reason 🙂
oh this just seems like what Buick shoulda done in their commercial back then haha
Great article Alex…..Cadillac is style
Actual the blonde is in the MB and being passed by the Allante. The Allante driver is not shown in detail.
It looks like you’re absolutely correct, USA1 — thanks so much for the correction. I’ve updated the article to reflect this.
And she was pretty damn hot too! I like the 1980’s pastel-hotties in the aerobics section as well. Many of these ladies were undoubtedly “mentored” by Cadillac owners.
I recall that era. That ad campaign was quite successful too. It would work again once Cadillac completes its turn around. I did want to say this: The Cadillacs of that era except for Brougham were downsized and not land barges. They were far from it. The Eldorado and Seville of that era were about the same size as a CTS today at a 190-191 inches long..The Deville and Fleetwood in that ad were downsized too. They are smaller than Cadillac XTS is today by a long shot. They were smaller than Buick LaCrosse is today. I just get so tired of people putting down GM and the cars from the past. Most people who say things about them do not recall them or were not alive then or too younger to remember them. The only car in that commercial that was truly full sized was The Brougham. The Cadillac ATS is larger than that Cimarron in that commercial.
A GM designer on another site I visit said the government told GM to take the lead on fuel efficiency and downsize the cars at GM. The downsizing turned out to be a huge disaster for GM on many levels. One was the size of the cars. The second was the cars looked too much a like across the brands.The buyers were put off by the smaller Cadillacs and other GM products. GM did not make its money back it had invested in downsizing its cars in the 1980’s. GM had to up size its cars in the 1990’s.
REGENCY…..CORRECT in what you say…those Cadillacs were smaller and sleeker; I had one and drove around LA in style!!!!!!
These cars had luxe cloth seats
That’s right Dan, they had them… more than 2 decades ago. Time to move on. No other self-respecting luxury brand offers cloth. 🙂
Oh, Alex, luxe cloth is coming back, dude 🙂
How about monochrome displays and column shifters, Dan? Are those coming back too? I sure hope so! Hope both are standard equipment in the ATS, in fact. There’s nothing like shifting a compact sport sedan into drive with a column rod! 😉
GOOD ONE ALEX!! You are the funny one 🙂
Speaking of cool ads, the new Impala promo is one of the best I have seen in awhile. That transition at 29 sec is masterful- really captures the motion.
Glad I found this thread. While I agree with many of the observations, I still think this was a great and memorable commercial and reflected many peoples aspirations of that time. I’d love to know which ad agency created it. On a separate note, I have a ’91 Brougham which I enjoy driving as much as my ’10 CTS. In my opinion, Cadillac may have worn a few bad outfits over the years, but has never lost its style…
We need to revive this commercial.