Cadillac Tries to Justify Controversial 'Poolside' ELR Advertisement

By Jacob Brown | March 06, 2014
Watch actor Neal McDonough walk through a high-end home, espousing the virtues of the American work ethic in a recent commercial. The message: Americans are proud, bold, and work hard because we value innovation creating change. It sounds fairly patriotic, and the minute-long spot called "Poolside" ran during the Oscars and Winter Olympics to pitch the new $76,000 2014 Cadillac ELR. But many viewers were caught off guard with Cadillac's seeming pitch to the One Percent crowd. To quote Ad Age, "critics on the political left see it as Ugly American chest thumping" while commentators on the right say the commercial is about asserting uniquely American values. Created by the Rogue ad agency, the spot was supposed to incite "brand provocation." And, oh boy, has it.
With about 650,000 views on YouTube as of the time of this writing, the spot has garnered a 60-percent approval rating. Cadillac's director of marketing, Craig Bierley, says it's mission: accomplished, according to an interview in Ad Age. Bierley says this about the spot: "It's basically saying hard work creates its own luck. In order to achieve it, you just have to believe anything's possible. You have to believe in yourself, you have to believe in possibilities. It's really about optimism. It's really a fundamental human truth: optimism about creating your own future. It's not about materialism." His critics are quick to point out that it's not quite being perceived that way. Still, it's a niche plug-in hybrid vehicle whose market is extremely limited. Through the first two months of 2014, only 99 takers have purchased 2014 Cadillac ELR coupes. With these ads now out there, we do wonder if sales will pick up, who will inevitably buy the cars, and whether the public will shy away from the new luxury coupe as a result of the "Poolside" ad. Watch the ad for yourself below and follow the link to Ad Age's full interview. Source: Ad Age