Cadillac takes the long view

If you're a luxury car owner, then chances are you read the business pages of one of Canada's national dailies. Such is the reasoning that led General Motors of Canada to put its entire media budget for Cadillac into newspaper last...

If you’re a luxury car owner, then chances are you read the business pages of one of Canada’s national dailies.

Such is the reasoning that led General Motors of Canada to put its entire media budget for Cadillac into newspaper last year. Specifically, the automaker executed a 52-week buy in both The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business and The Financial Post.

Approximately 80% of luxury car buyers read one of these products, says Doug Turney, director of client services with GM’s Toronto-based agency, MacLaren McCann. Some read both – and they read them in depth, like magazines.

Communicating with the target audience on an ongoing basis through a single medium made more sense in this case than a short-term effort in multiple media, Turney says. And it allowed the creative team to develop its message over time. ‘It was using the frequency of the medium creatively by telling a different story every week,’ he explains.

The approach also had the advantage of being unusual for the category, Turney adds. ‘It allowed us to do something that we’ve never seen done in newspaper before.’

All of the ads in the series were full-page black and white. The first featured the Cadillac logo, and some copy outlining the brand’s illustrious history. The Cadillac name, it pointed out, has entered our everyday lexicon, as a means of denoting superior quality. (How often have you heard something referred to as ‘the Cadillac of -’?)

After that, each weekly ad highlighted a different aspect of Cadillac – from the overall design to technological features such as the OnStar tracking and concierge system.

The campaign tagline – ‘That’s right. Cadillac’ – wasn’t intended as a positioning statement for the brand, Turney says. Rather, the goal was to drive consumer response. ‘What we needed to do was take people on a journey,’ he explains. ‘We needed to get their attention, gain awareness for Cadillac and ultimately persuade them that Cadillac has changed.’

Why the urgency? In a word, imports.

As in most other automotive categories, Japanese and European vehicles – in this case, the likes of Infiniti, Lexus and Audi – have become a powerful presence in the luxury market, forcing domestic automakers to put pedal to the metal in order to maintain market share.

Cadillac had to prove itself to be at least on par with the imports – if not actually more prestigious. And it had to make the point often, Turney says. ‘We wanted to be seen regularly and create a presence.’

The marketing team (which includes MacLaren’s media management unit, Initiative Media) locked in the same placement every week. The ad in Report on Business appeared on Tuesdays, while the one in the Post ran on weekends. ‘It bridged the week really well,’ Turney says.

Because the target audience is highly educated, he adds, the creative needed to eschew bold declarations, and give due credit to the reader’s intelligence. ‘Otherwise the B.S. meter goes off,’ he says.

Mike Speranzini, brand manager for Cadillac with Oshawa, Ont.-based General Motors, says the newspaper buy proved a highly effective means of reaching the brand’s target audience. ‘We are delighted with the results from a brand-building and sales point of view.’

Perceptions of Cadillac have improved markedly, he says, and sales of those vehicles spotlighted in the campaign – the Deville, Seville and Escalade – have all climbed.

Also in this report:

- Launch of Post good news for advertisers: Upstart daily has jump-started the industry, prompting offers of better rates, bonus ads and new loyalty programs p.NP3

- Stop the presses: Dailies are changing: No longer acting as simple order-takers p.NP4

- Picture perfect: It’s obvious that visually driven creative works well in newspaper. So why don’t more advertisers use it? NP5

- Telcos reward readers with a laugh: MTT and Bell Mobility employ unusual formats to nab attention p.NP6

- builds awareness offline: Coupon portal uses newspapers as linchpin of media strategy p.NP7

- Edmonton Journal: Time for a change: Daily goes for a facelift p.NP10

- Whistler taps fast turnaround times: Newspaper lets ski resort react quickly to changing circumstances p.NP13

- Talvest co-brands funds with FP Index: Helped Montreal financial services provider to crack Ontario market p.NP14

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.