Did Cadillac fully rise to the occasion?

by. Kristiana Lockman

Cadillac’s new ‘poolside’ ad is hard to swallow. It’s the one in which an assertive, cocksure master of the house surveys his domain and reminds us why Americans are so great. I’m pretty sure this is one of those ads that will reflect the worst of America’s culture when we look back on it in 50 years, and not just to the liberal idealist.

Regardless of whether the ad makes you feel proud or ugly, from a marketing perspective, I think they missed a terrific cross-promotional opportunity.  To truly celebrate our culture, they should have leveraged another uniquely American campaign: Viagra.

Consider this:

First, American culture is characterized by traits like dominance, authority, power, and success. Geert Hofstede, the Dutch psychologist, professor, and former IBMer best known for his studies of national culture, describes collective US society as having a unique combination of high masculine energy and one of the most individualistic drives in the world. (Check out this tool for comparing the attributes of different countries at The Hofstede Centre website. And the Cadillac brand, while not always relevant, exemplifies power and success.

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