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David Beals is quoted in the latest edition of Advertising Age referring to recent upsets in the auto-ad business as “unprecedented,” and explaining such volatility as the product of “a category in crisis.”  As the article suggests, crisis demands innovation, and Detroit’s troubles have led to several radical re-brandings, including Cadillac’s most recent effort to reclaim lost ground against luxury sports brands like BMW and Mercedes with the new CTS Coupe.

To be sure, the CTS Coupe is an impressive departure from previous design.  The Journal’s Dan Neil describes it “as the car Frank Gehry and ‘Batman’ animator Bruce Timm would design if their lives depended on it. The [new CTS] looks like it was beamed in from a near future when gangsters are armed with lasers.”

Lasers aside, Cadillac’s decision this week to hire Fallon as the creative agency responsible for marketing the CTS Coupe may signal an even greater departure from old habits than the car’s design.  During its tenure with BMW Fallon produced the widely acclaimed ‘BMW Films,’ and helped the German automaker establish its current identity as a premier luxury brand in the US.  Over the last decade the United States has become BMW’s largest market.

But Cadillac wants its piece of the pie back, and it has finally seemed to acknowledge that it’s not going to get it by clinging to an identity that, for many, lost its luster long ago.  Instead, the company is betting that Fallon can help lead it forward with a marketing strategy that appeals to the same consumers who have driven sales for BMW and Mercedes.

by Francis George Brand Futurist The Republik Commander Creative Ops

Photo Credit: © Cadillac