The 30-second spot, "Detour," debuts this week on cable stations CNBC, CNN, History Channel, and VH1. The ad highlights Dylan driving by green meadows and on back-country dirt roads. He gets out of the Cadillac, stands at a dirt crossroad and says "What's life without the occasional detour."
A two-minute online video vignette brings together the TV ad and Dylan's Cadillac-themed show. Dylan starts off by saying, "All music sounds a little sweeter, a little bit neater, when your windows are down and you've got your hands at 10 and 2." The video will post to Google's YouTube video site on Nov. 6. The print ads kick off in the Nov. 2 issue of Rolling Stone. The ongoing print campaign will feature ads in other music and lifestyle magazines, too.
For the first time, Dylan's XM Radio show, "Theme Time Radio Hour," will premiere an hour-long "Cadillac" episode, with music inspired by the automaker from many genres and artists, including Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac."
Through his career, Dylan has romanced the Cadillac. In "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan," he sings, "In my Cadillac," and in "Summer Days" he sings, "I'm drivin' in the flats in a Cadillac car." The collection demonstrates Cadillac's influence on pop culture.
XM Radio presented the Escalade show to Cadillac as part of the marketing campaign. "Some brands can transition from brands to an object as more people connect with the product," says Vernon Irvin, XM Radio's EVP/CMO. "Cadillac has done that."
Future themes this season will focus on California, dreams, fruit, something, nothing, street, parties, mail, and the 2nd Annual Countdown Show. The 2008 Escalade Cadillac show features a brand, rather than a "thing." Cadillac Communications Manager Kevin Smith argues that Cadillac is more than a brand. "Cadillac being so woven into the American fabric, there's a lot of songs that incorporate Cadillac into the lyrics," he says.
Brand Keys President Robert Passikoff says brands continually look to borrow equity from celebrities. "Consumers have become very sophisticated about these things and realize who gets paid to say what," he says. "Celebrities don't do this out of the goodness of their hearts. Everything gets taken with the proverbial grain of salt."
People know the Cadillac brand, so the questions really become, does the content engage, and do Dylan's listeners care, Passikoff says, adding that just saying it doesn't make it so.
Cadillac ad agency Modernista spearheaded the joint campaign among Dylan, XM Radio and carmaker. The multi-faceted, long-term campaign will run through next year.