Rokkan repositions Cadillac for a new generation of consumers

For many consumers, Cadillac is a brand that appeals to those who like comfort and luxury. For some, that means older drivers. But Cadillac is more than just a smooth ride for snowbirds, and agency Rokkan is helping recreate the image of the auto retailer as the brand releases its latest crossover vehicle.

Rokkan’s creative vision for Cadillac recently came to life at ComplexCon, a gathering of millennial movers and shakers. Cadillac became the official sponsor of the ‘Pigeons and Planes’ performance stage at the multi-day event and had an immersive art installation featuring the new Cadillac XT4 crossover plus exclusive merchandise, including a one-of-a-kind moment delivered by rapper and entrepreneur, Nas.

That’s just one way that Rokkan is working in partnership with Cadillac to push the brand into new territories with the XT4 launch campaign. It started with the release of ‘4 Wherever It Takes You by Cadillac,’ which rolled during October. Two 30-second commercials – ‘Joy’ and ‘Wonder’ – embody a youthful energy and vitality many haven’t seen from the heritage auto maker. Rokkan hopes to fold that energy into the brand, while remaining true to Cadillac’s legacy of expert craftsmanship, luxury features and high-quality vehicles.

Each element of the XT4 campaign was crafted to support below- and above-the-line efforts seamlessly. So far, along with the two 30-second spots, there are three 15-second broadcast spots, more than 30 digital and social spots, including a strategic suite of product videos, OOH and interactive content – plus the bold step into the world of streetwear and music at ComplexCon.

Brian Carley, chief creative officer at Rokkan, said that the campaign is “desinged and built to have a lot of content. We’re still releasing things.” He added that the agency is doing some work with artists on behalf of the brand, giving them access to the CAD files of vehicles and letting them bring that to life on Instagram. But he is also excited about reaching different audiences through a diversity of channels.

“Cadillac has a diverse audience of who they want to reach, and diverse buyers. The folks who buy Cadillac are all over the map,” stated Carley, adding that Rokkan looked across multiple channels to get the word out on the XT4.

ComplexCon was an entirely different platform for the brand to be involved with and it was aimed at a much younger audience.

“As we’re targeting younger customers, an interesting creative culture is emerging – a new form of design language,” Carley said. He also said that a limited-edition necklace was designed with Cadillac’s iconic crest that Nas gave away at the event. “We’re making something people want to interact with,” he added.

Regarding the uniqueness of the XT4, Carley said that it’s the first smaller SUV the brand has put out, and it’s a popular size, especially among younger drivers. Regarding normal car ads, he said: “It’s a lot about the places you can go – it’s always about getting out of the city or suburbs – all the places it can take you. For us, we don’t care where you go. It’s how the car makes you feel.”

He said the intention with the work is that it needed to feel like it was from the point of the view of the driver. The interpretation of artists and influencers and how they see the vehicle is in part what it’s like to drive the XT4.

Carley added that this is one of first times the brand has created video content specifically for YouTube. “People tend to research cars on YouTube. We created a series of multilayered product videos, with much better quality,” he said, stating that Cadillac buyers expect high quality from both the auto and how it’s sold.

Rokkan is also helping build interest in test drives, designing tool kits for the dealerships to help them bring in more consumers. “It’s an internal system that was built for this kind of thing. It’s designed to give them access, with assets and tools at their fingertips. That’s been really powerful,” Carley said.

The ultimate goal with all the new marketing efforts is to get people to the dealership. Cadillac, Carley said, is an iconic, beloved brand, but people may be unfamiliar with the products. The current efforts are just “scratching the surface,” but by enlisting big names on both the promotional and production ends, Rokkan is trying to make Cadillac feel “younger and brighter, make it feel like high quality. That’s important for us. We still want it to have that Cadillac style and attitude.”

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