Villing & Company

Cadillac Need Not Apologize for Targeting Its Demographic

It’s always funny to observe what trips peoples’ triggers on blogs and social media. Sometimes, the onslaught companies receive is expected and warranted (See ‘General Motors’) while other times it leaves you shaking your head. Such is the case in the negative feedback Cadillac has received for airing its “Poolside” ad heavily these past few months – specifically during high profile telecasts such as the Olympics and Oscars.

The ad features actor Neil McDonough in a monologue that would make any avid viewer of FOX News stand up and cheer as he confidently pontificates about American work ethic while strolling through his seven-figure house. In fact, the ad stirred up so much resentment that Ford took advantage of the opportunity to produce a “response” ad, complete with non-actor Pasho Murray, founder of Detroit Dirt, a company that turns waste into compost for those wanting to create urban gardens. Hard to get riled up over someone like that, right?

It’s a smart move by Ford. Of course, they’re doing nothing more than what Cadillac is doing – targeting the demographic for their C-Max Energi. If they want to make Cadillac look like a pompous bad guy to make its point, I get it. Shrewd marketing.

But is anybody really surprised that Cadillac is targeting middle-aged CEOs who make over 200k with a message that would bring a tear to the eye of Rush Limbaugh?

If Cadillac is guilty of anything in my mind it could be the questionable decision to waste their marketing budget on so many in the general public who do not have the means or the desire – myself included – to own a high-end Cadillac, such as the ERL hybrid coupe in the spot. In that sense, they would have grabbed a higher percentage of their demo airing the spot on the Golf Channel or on Sunday of the Masters. But I also understand the temptation of blasting the message to as many people as possible. However, the downside of doing so can be seen on social media and through the eyes of less affluent millennials everywhere.

Just save the outrage, please.

Filed Under: advertising

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