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
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
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
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