If you, like us, stuck with the Oscars until the end (which was technically today), then you’re tired. Neil Patrick Harris is super talented but when you have to strut around naked at a black tie event to get a laugh, it may be time to bow out and let the reigning queens of award shows take over. (Tina? Amy? Please?) And while we loved that Meryl approved of Patricia Arquette’s Norma Rae moment, and that John Legend and Chrissy Teigen continue to delight us, and that #FreeOctavia was a trending hashtag last night, one of our favorite parts was a Cadillac commercial. Go figure.
Brand reinvention basically happens in one of two ways- total transparency or total opaqueness. A brand either shuts down and then emerges out the other end, fully formed and blinking in the sun, or they open all their doors and windows and invite you to be a part of the revolution. Cadillac is going for transparency in their #DareGreatly campaign, which features the journeys of great contemporary minds.
Set (kind of brilliantly) to Edith Pilaf’s “Non, Je ne Regrette Rien,” the ad skims the surface of five people who changed their fields with revolutionary thinking. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Director RIchard Linklater, Designer Jason Wu, CEO Anne Wojcicki, and Entrepreneur Njeri Rionge are featured, as are their collective achievements. The ad shares what they’ve “dared” to do (Wozniak invented the personal computer despite dropping out of college; Rionge has helped bring the internet to Africa since her days as a hair stylist, etc), and compares these feats to Cadillac daring to reinvent itself after 112 years in the biz. It’s a bold claim, but we’re buying it.
This campaign works for its broad appeal. The diverse age/race/interests of the featured people hits a wide range for Cadillac. They’ve reinvented themselves as a car for everyone, without sacrificing passion or specialness. And for anyone wanting to see the messaging through to the end, there are more in-depth interviews of the participants on the Dare Greatly site.
For what it’s worth, we like the trend toward transparency in advertising. Especially when it’s done this well.