November 1, 2006

Idea: Another commercial I’d like to see

A guy is showing his girlfriend his brand new flat screen TV. He’s beaming with pride showing it off. “Honey, this is the best flat screen TV money can buy. It’s a 1080p HDTV with dual HDMI inputs, and digital audio output. It’s got a 1200 to 1 contrast ratio. It has four different memory card expansion slots for viewing digital photos or playing MP3s, and it auto-uprezzes from 480 and 720 sources with bicubic interpolation. The blacks are ink black. The whites are paper white. And the color is as vivid as real life. Baby, I’m telling you. This is the Cadillac of televisions.”

Then we see the Cadillac logo, and their latest fancy car rotating slowly against a black background. “Cadillac. We set the standard.”

This could be a whole series of commercials like this featuring different luxury products. Clocks. Fine wines. Pianos. Each one would have a person — maybe the product’s owner, or a salesperson, etc — extolling the virtues of the product, and finally calling it “the Cadillac of” whatever it is. Everyone knows that “The Cadillac of…” is frequently used to express that an item is at the top of its class. So why shouldn’t Cadillac capitalize on that? I’m surprised they haven’t already.

Previously: A battery commercial I’d like to see.



Well… one reason they may not want to do that is because they’d start to lessen the immense value of thier intellectual property. Just like Kleenex doesn’t want you thinking their product is “a kleenex” and Xerox doesn’t want you to “xerox a copy” and Google is all up in arms about recent “googling” parlance, I’m pretty sure the lawyers (I am one, FYI) have ruined this good idea, too.

Sorry. Our bad.

{ k }

Hi David,

Love your blog, and your “take” on things.

When I was growing up (a long time ago), the “Cadillac of … whatever” was a meaningful and powerful sobriquet.

Today, when I think of Cadillac products and their customers, I think: bloated, out-of-touch, older, retired, dinner at 5 o’cock, not hip (or rich) enough to have a BMW, etc.

Thus, I might one customer to whom that wouldn’t appeal.

Roger von Oech

It’s been done already. In Brazil.

The brand used was “Brastemp”, which does refrigerators, microwave ovens and other kitchen appliances.

It was a big hit about 7 years ago when it came out, and won a bunch of international prizes for the agency too.

In the TV ads, someone would go “What do you think of this new [random product] I bought?”, and the person been asked would reply “Well, it’s not really a Brastemp, you know…”, or something to that effect.

Pretty soon the entire nation picked it up, and even today—more than half a decade later—people say it when confronted to a product that is not top quality.

It worked exactly as you described, and did wonders for Brastemp. Since then, they’ve been regarded as the top brand for kitchen appliances. It helps that they make really good quality products, but still.

This is the Rolls Royce of commercial ideas, David !

Nice blog.

There is, or at least was, a Cadillac dog food. I assume they licensed the name since they also had the Cadillac logo on it.

My favorite is when someone says, “It’s the Cadillac of cars.” I call that an exactile (ex-act-ill-ee) as oppaosed to a simile. Like in “He’s the Einstein of physics.”

@Kaleberg: I’ve always thought of Neil Diamond as “the white Bob Dylan”, which is similar to your exactile. A simactile?

In different markets Mercedes Benz also shares this slogan. Sometimes to the point that the Toyota landcruiser was referred to as the “Mercedes Ben of 4wds”.

When Mercedes eventually introduced a 4WD vehicle they capitalised on this with a simple billboard showing their new “off roader”, with the slogan “The Mercedes Benz of Four Wheel Drives”

Looks like they started using something similar to this with the slogan “It’s the Cadillac of Cross-overs”