Cadillac PR polish strives to wipe out stodgy image

DETROIT: Hoping to revitalize its stodgy image, Cadillac is preparing to launch an international PR campaign early next year.

DETROIT: Hoping to revitalize its stodgy image, Cadillac is preparing to launch an international PR campaign early next year.

DETROIT: Hoping to revitalize its stodgy image, Cadillac is

preparing to launch an international PR campaign early next year.



The GM-owned brand has traditionally been viewed as a car for strictly

an older audience. Through extensive PR, the company believes it can

make itself more appealing to the coveted audience of 35- to

50-year-olds in a high income bracket (dollars 100,000-and-up).



The company has chosen January’s Consumer Electronics Show - rather than

the traditional venue of an auto show - to launch a new automobile PC

that allows Cadillac owners to read e-mail from computer-equipped

cars.



By the end of 2000, the company will also unveil its first-ever sports

utility vehicle, an effort to lure buyers who have bought luxury SUVs

from the likes of Lexus and Mercedes.



According to director of communications Chris Preuss, Cadillac began a

preliminary effort last year to tout its ’twin themes’ of art and

science.



Though Cadillac won’t be rolling out significant numbers of new models

until 2002 (its centennial year), Preuss didn’t want to wait that long

for the PR push. He has reached out to publications like George and USA

Today, emphasizing the brand’s technological advances.



’PR has been the most cost-effective method of communicating the

company’s new image,’ he said.



Other PR targets have been industry analysts and media like The Wall

Street Journal, where reporters are familiar with Cadillac’s recent

sales woes. ’We really want to change minds among third-party

endorsers,’ Preuss said. ’A lot of us see this as an all-or-nothing

strategy.’



In Europe, the company will attempt to foster the hi-tech image by

hyping its decision to enter next year’s LeMans auto race and unveiling

a new concept car at the Geneva auto show.



’Cadillac is still recognized in Europe,’ Preuss said. ’Unfortunately,

people still associate the brand with Elvis and tail fins.’



Preuss arrived at Cadillac shortly before the Daimler/Chrysler merger,

becoming the first of many former Chrysler PR pros to join rival GM.

Among the agencies the company works with are Manning, Selvage & Lee and

Strat@comm.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.