Just one month ago, however, I had a conversation with a GM Communications exec (read about the post-Milford dinner here) and made a point about sending unbelievable messages. Unbelievable, in terms of an inability to believe. Not unbelievable in terms of amazing or incredible. Just plain not-going-to-ever-believe.
One such message appears in the TV spot you can see below. Four young-ish guys, appearing to be relatively cool, have a golf-related argument while inside a DTS. At the country club, other older men settle the scoring debate. The older men are preparing for their round at the trunk of their DTS. I made it pretty clear that an unbelievable message (that four cool young guys would drive a DTS?) does more harm than good. We, potential future Cadillac buyers, see the brand de-valued when the advertising attempts to push a message that can not be trusted.
Then you have another DTS television ad, where these four young fellas are “welcomed to the world of gentlemen” by four older DTS-driving men outside a diner. The negative messages are flying; and it hurts Cadillac tremendously. Firstly, Cadillac is admitting that, traditionally, DTS/Deville buyers were older men – usually Floridian retirees. Second; it’s unusual for young men to be seen driving a DTS. Thirdly, aren’t they wealthy enough to be found outside a fine dining establishment? We all love a good breakfast, but at least Cora’s looks appetizing. Finally, the main selling-point, at least the point mentioned, is spaciousness. That’s terrific, but I think I’ll stick with the CTS and its performance. Remember, I am young.
The world already understands that big Cadillac’s are driven by old men, that young people don’t drive DTS’s, and that a DTS is huge. Don’t spread the embarrasing news.