Cadillac's first TV commercial for its ELR plug-in hybrid, Poolside, was a smash hit, in that a lot of people saw and talked about it. The 60-second spot didn't say the car was a plug-in, took potshots at the work ethic of all non-Americans and has raked in over a million views on YouTube (you can add one more here). Caddy's new ELR video will get a lot less media attention, but that's exactly the point.
Cadillac claims it was happy with the way actor Neil McDonough strutted his way into the controversial ELR discussion. This time around, though, the coupe gets promoted in a more traditional way: with information about the car and what it can do - you know, drive on electricity, capture braking energy into the battery, go further on gas power when needed, those kinds of things – courtesy of GM's executive chief engineer for electrified vehicles, Pam Fletcher.
The tone of the video has not been changed because of the Poolside controversy. David Caldwell, manager of Cadillac communications, tells AutoblogGreen that the new video is not destined for TV and is completely different because it's meant for a different audience. "It doesn't have any direct relation to Poolside," he says. "TV advertising is not necessarily the heart of marketing something like the ELR. Notwithstanding the fact that we had a very thought-provoking ad [laughs]."
The way you reach out to people via the web is different than the mass-media techniques used in spots like Poolside during big TV events (it aired during the Winter Olympics). The two video spots are different because you need to offer different information in different ways, for example having an ELR website as well as an iPad filled with ELR information at the dealership. For Cadillac, TV is "not going to be the predominant methodology," used to sell the ELR, Caldwell said, "the web is closer to what you need to do to reach people. We definitely have a need to communicate what the ELR is. It's not television advertising at all."
"We definitely have a need to communicate what the ELR is" - Cadillac's David Caldwell
Caldwell said a handful of other short videos similar to the new one will go live in the near future, showcasing design and powertrain aspects of the car. Keep an eye out for them – just don't look for them on TV. You can watch the new video below.