Despite financial crises around the world, the global luxury car market has enjoyed growth in the past decade, driven by emerging markets and increasing disparity of incomes. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz account for approximately 80% share worldwide. The success of these brands has also eclipsed domestic incumbents Cadillac and Lincoln, who compete with other challenger brands Jaguar, Range Rover and Volvo.
Despite great product innovation and performance, Cadillac’s growth was slow worldwide and in steady decline domestically – down 6.5% in 2014. The German brands were growing rapidly, shaping category norms and preferences.
Cadillac’s brand had drifted into clichéd images of gangsters and retirees, alienating young, affluent consumer driving growth in luxury auto sales. And an internal ‘culture of creative license’ had fragmented the brand and eroded any one sense of identity.
Through interviews and a review of assets going back a century, we dug into Cadillac’s culture to pinpoint brand values as aspirational as they were ingrained: bold, sophisticated and optimistic. These were held together by an emotive core of ‘passion’, emphasizing a decidedly non-Germanic stance.
The ‘Crest’ logo – the latest of 30 revisions over the years – was refined into a globally usable asset, uniting the wider, dimensional Crest and script wordmark across all touchpoints to strengthen awareness of the Crest’s owner. A new secondary pattern and suite of visual elements accompany the logo and hone Cadillac’s presentation, removing the noise that had crept into brand efforts.
The new, consistent visual expression is now standard across all 2D, 3D and experiential programs worldwide. One of the first implementations, a global brand-launch event in New York City and brand storybook galvanized employees to understand and represent one global Cadillac.
Launched during the 2015 Oscars, a new ad campaign built on the brand work – “Dare Greatly” – immediately delivered 885 million impressions. Shortly after launch, Cadillac saw a 26% week-over-week increase in conversation volumes on the web.
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