Cadillac Takes on 'Divided Nation' in Oscars Ad

It's 'Neither a Political, or Social Statement,' Marketer Said

By E.J. Schultz. Published on Feb 23, 2017

Editor's Pick

Add Cadillac to the list of marketers using an ad in an attempt to bridge political divides. In a TV spot that will run during Sunday's Academy Awards, the luxury auto brand seeks to dispel the notion that America is a nation divided -- a tall task given the continuous acrimony on cable news shows and public demonstrations against the Donald Trump administration.

The ad, called "Carry," begins by showing street protests before transitioning into scenes of humans helping other humans, like soldiers assisting a wounded compatriot and a man being airlifted from a flooded neighborhood. The General Motors brand then makes an attempt to remind viewers of its historical presence with old scenes of celebrities and their Caddys, including Muhammad Ali and Marilyn Monroe. Publicis, New York handled the ad.

The ad is "neither a political or social statement," said Melody Lee, Cadillac's director of brand marketing. "It is simply a celebration of the incredible American spirit, and of a country that when united, inspires, enables and achieves. As a brand that has served as the embodiment of this, the American Dream, Cadillac hopes to remind the country how great we can be if we carry each other forward."

Cadillac in recent years has tried to make a big splash on Oscars night and this year is no different, even though the brand's new product load for the 2017 model year is light. Three other spots will run during the broadcast that are by Rokkan, part of the Leo Burnett Worldwide network. One ad, called "Pedestal," features the Escala concept car. Another ad called "Pioneers" spotlights technology used in Cadillac vehicles. A fourth ad is dedicated to the CTS-V. (See all the spots at bottom of this story.)

But the "Carry" spot will likely get the most attention, considering the possibility that some viewers will see it through a political lens.

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Feb 23, 2017
Publicis New York
Chief Creative Officer:
Andy Bird
Chief Production Officer:
Lisa Bifulco
Executive Creative Director:
John Kenney
Executive Producer:
Anthony Garetti
Justine Palivoda
Chief Executive Officer:
Carla Serrano
EVP, Managing Director:
Adam Hunt
SVP, Group Account Director:
Emily Shahady
VP, Account Director:
James Bundy
Strategy Director:
Ben Zumsteg
Strategy Director:
Patrick White
Editorial Company:
Lost Planet
Executive Producer:
Krystn Wagenberg
Felix Cabrera
Jay Rabinowitz
Sound Studio:
Sound Lounge
Tom Poole
Visual Effects Company:
Black Hole
Ennio Morricone
Music Supervisor:
Rachel Rauch

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