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Cadillac ‘Dares Greatly’ but is the Publicis Oscars campaign a damp squib?

Next to the Super Bowl the Oscars ceremony is the biggest US showcase for ads (it gets about half the Super Bowl audience, in its case 50m or so, and this year charged about half the rate for 30 seconds, $1.95m).

General Motors’ luxury Cadillac division, which recently moved from Detroit to New York and appointed Publicis as its umpteenth agency over the past few years, used the Oscars to launch its new CT6 sedan and a ‘Dare Greatly’ platform (not that grammatical but there you go) to sell the Cadillac ‘dream.’

Among the cast of notables in the four ads it launched on the night was Richard Linklater, writer and director of the film Boyhood, 12 years in the making. Unfortunately for Richard and Cadillac it didn’t win a single Oscar – although it’s supposed to be a pretty good film.

The CT6 isn’t actually out yet so it’s rather early to judge how good this stuff is. Edith Piaf is an interesting choice for the music. Will this give it a certain enigmatic ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi‘ or remind would-be US buyers of ‘cheese-eating surrender monkeys?’ Publicis is French-owned of course, although I doubt that many of its staffers in the US are French.

Hmm. MAA creative scale: 3. We see so much of this would-be inspirational stuff these days but are we really inspired?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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