17 August 2006

Tiger Woods Should Pitch for Cadillac

Doron Levin of Bloomberg News writes mostly about the automobile industry. I've always liked him because he thinks creatively. More often than not, Mr. Levin doesn't simply point at problems and whine, but often comes up with smart, imaginative solutions.

His latest imaginative solution has Tiger Woods hawking Cadillacs instead of Buicks. Doron makes perfect sense:
"… the handsome, well-spoken Woods just might do some good for Cadillac, GM's luxury car division. Cadillac … still lags behind the luxury competition, mostly because baby boomers refuse to switch from their BMW, Lexus and Mercedes sedans. And that's a pity for GM, because Cadillac's CTS and STS are good-looking, highly-rated alternatives."
Let me take Mr. Levin's idea and come up with my own imaginative solution. Pretend that Cadillac hasn't decided to write off Baby Boomers—the largest age demographic for new car sales, especially for luxury cars.

Doron mentions the embarrassing Cadillac/Led Zeppelin campaign. I railed about it in the introduction to my book (PDF):
"… If Cadillac wants to appeal to Baby Boomers (we think of Cads as cars gangsters drive, or as hearses) do you really have to position them as something that will make us feel young again as we zoom around blasting rock and roll while our car is in cruise control? Only occasionally do we sit around and daydream about being eighteen again. Most of the time we don't feel that old."
Time to have some fun, go off into the ether. I'll re-brand Cadillac for Baby Boomers. First some research:

Many older Boomers, along with 60-70 year olds, are becoming obsessed with three related matters: their grandchildren, volunteerism and mentoring, and their social/cultural legacy as a generation (with a quarter-century or more to add to it).

'Me Generation' becomes 'We Generation in USA Today:
Will boomers really give something back? They already are. Nationally, boomers (33%) have higher volunteer rates than either seniors (24%) or young adults (24%), reports the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is the most schooled and traveled generation in history. It has much to offer by the giving of its time. The number of American volunteers rose to 65.4 million last year from 59.5 million in 2002. It is projected to reach 70 million by 2010, driven by aging boomers who want to make a difference.
Don't think that I'm saything that it's all altruism with Baby Boomers. They also love to play. And play they will:
The bottom line is that over the next 20 years there will be more golfers in the higher play frequency years than at any time in history. When will this happen? Not tomorrow – Baby Boomers haven’t begun retiring in large numbers. However, our model suggests that incremental rounds from boomers will rise gradually over the next 10 years, peak around 2015, and remain in force for another 10 years after that ... NGF estimates that, over the next 20 years, total rounds attributable to boomers will increase by 75 million to 100 million above what they are currently playing.
Tiger Woods is Cadillac's spokesperson. The campaign is about Cadillac and The Tiger Woods Foundation. Nothing cheesy like incentives (these are luxury cars) - but a real connection. More than merely a corporate sponsorship. Cadillac is deeply involved with educating and motivating young children by actively supporting a high-profile volunteer program where mentoring is the most important ingredient. Perhaps Cadillac has a mentoring/volunteer information package you can pick up at a dealer - and/or deep info on their web site.

Cadillac looks like a different car to me now. I don't see tacky jewels, machine guns, or coffins. I see a meaningful future and my place in it.

And it sounds like a different car. It resonates in my social conscience — not in the speakers of my car audio system when I turn it up to 'eleven.'

This approach hasn't hurt Target. With Cadillac/Baby Boomers skew it towards mentoring.
Too bad GM didn't do it right the first time. Instead of that insulting, icy, slick, soulless campaign, Cadillac could have transformed their image into something exciting and meaningful to Baby Boomers.

Along with educating and motivating tens of thousands of kids.

(And, if you'll allow me to be your typical oily, duplicitous, conniving marketing strategist, it introduces Cadillac to tens of thousands of Millennials — car buyers in ten, fifteen, and twenty years.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.