Oscars 2016: Cadillac Dares to ‘Dare’ Again


Cadillac Dare Greatly - stories - Laura Deming

Cadillac is turning to The Oscars for the second year in a row for help in promoting a rebirth of the brand. But this time Cadillac expects a major assist in the fact that it is using the 88th Academy Awards as a platform to promote two highly anticipated new vehicles in addition to refining the “Dare Greatly” brand positioning that it introduced during The Oscars last year.

“Don’t You Dare” is the theme of the next chapter of “Dare Greatly,” and its Oscars 2016 campaign continues that effort with new TV commercials plus profiles of the stories of eight young people who embody the spirit of “Dare Greatly. Innovators all, they work in fields ranging from extending human longevity to helping young adults get scholarships (scroll down to watch their stories).

In terms of Cadillac’s product messaging, its 2016 Academy Awards campaign shines the spotlight on the CT6, Cadillac’s all-new, flagship large sedan, which is beginning to roll into Cadillac dealerships, and the XT5, a redesigned version of the SRX crossover utility vehicle that follow the CT6 in a spring launch cadence. The overall tagline: “Only those who dare drive the world forward.”

“It’s the next chapter in daring greatly,” Uwe Ellinghaus, CMO for the GM-owned luxury brand, told brandchannel. “We still need to build desire for the brand and we still have a brand relevance challenge. It remains a priority that the brand has a strong point of view and that this isn’t just a launch campaign for the CT6 and XT5—that it renews and evolves the spirit of ‘Dare Greatly.'”

It’s a continuation of the Dare Greatly campaign that Cadillac introduced during the 87th Academy Awards (watch below) with a handful of iconoclastic and more noted achievers dubbed “The Daring,” including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, fashion designer Jason Wu and Boyhood director Richard Linklater.

The new vehicles are timely arrivals. Cadillac sales declined by 27 percent in February, although they did grow by 2.6 percent for all of 2015 despite a lack of much new product news and the brand’s unwillingness to overly employ promotions to spur sales.

Cadillac - Dare Greatly - Easton LaChappelle

Cadillac’s ability to layer in two soon-to-launch products should allow the brand to boost interest significantly with this Oscars campaign. “We want to continue to build desire for the brand, but we need to deliver proof, evidence, and the product launches are additional evidence that we don’t just say we ‘dare greatly’ but we deliver on it,” Ellinghaus said.

To wit, CT6—which, in the commercial, drives forward on lower Manhattan streets while literally everything else and everyone else around it is moving backwards—comes off as “a bold, sophisticated car that drives the brand,” he said.

And XT5 is, in a sense, a replacement for SRX “but a significant step for us as a brand as well. Within this segment we also ‘dare greatly’ and don’t just deliver an average SUV: It is distinctive and recognizable in its design language but additional evidence that we’re serious about reinventing Cadillac.”

For its second Oscars campaign, Ellinghaus said, Cadillac introduces a new class of daring heroes in a related branded content push, whereas it didn’t really revisit the stories of the protagonists featured in its ads during last year’s Academy Awards.

“You can expect these people to show up more this year,” Ellinghaus said. “We may partner online with some of these individuals.”

Below, take a look look at Cadillac’s 2016 Dare Greatly heroes [the call to action: “see more stories at DareGreatly.com and share your own using #DAREGREATLY”] and the 2015 “Dare Greatly” Oscars ad campaign —

Above: At the age of 16, Bronx teen Justus Williams became the second African-American chess Grandmaster and the youngest African American to achieve Master Status. Now 18 years old, he pursues the title of World Champion and shares his story in hopes of inspiring others.

17-year-old Los Angeles-born chef Flynn McGarry is heading his own experimental pop-up dining experience focused on creating dishes that are both technical and progressive.

Discover the story of 17-year-old Kenneth Shinozuka is devoting his ambitions to improving the safety of Americans suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

25-year-old Kevin Chan is reinventing the production processes of fashion with a platform that aims to create transparency in the industry, empower designers, and dissolve the unethical taboos attached to the industry’s production processes.

26-year-old Morgan DeBaun dares to create a gathering place of African American millennials, with a platform that empowers young African Americans and uplifts the collective voices of color.

Inspired by her experiences as a transplant recipient, artist Gianna Paniagua shines a fragile light on the human body and provides a voice for young artists living with disabilities.

Working on his bedroom floor in small-town Colorado, Easton LaChappelle created robotic arms that changed the world of prosthetics forever and lead him to found his own company, Unlimited Tomorrow.

Christopher Gray was born into poverty, but that’s not where he stayed. Today he’s the co-founder of Scholly, an app that’s revolutionizing the world of financial aid — a powerful example of what happens when you Dare Greatly.

Laura Deming went from working in the world’s first anti-aging lab at age 12 to founding The Longevity Fund, a venture capital fund that just might solve the mystery of aging for good.

And below, a look back at the 2015 Dare Greatly campaign: