Brand Provocation

Cadillac’s extra-obnoxious “Poolside” ad was, it now says, this:

The “Poolside” spot, created by ad agency Rogue, is intended to serve as a “brand provocation,” according to Craig Bierley, Cadillac’s advertising director.

Of course, the deeper story is the usual one. The ad is a piece of flattery designed to push the marginally comfortable into proving their upper-classiness by buying the $75,000 monstrosity it promotes.

Advertising Age interviewed Cadillac’s Mr. Bierley on the strong reaction to the spot. He said the spot’s been “misconstrued” by some viewers. He wanted to set the record straight. Among the misperceptions:

It’s aimed at the richest 1%

Not so, says Mr. Bierley. Rather than millionaires, the spot’s targeted at customers who make around $200,000 a year. They’re consumers with a “little bit of grit under their fingernails” who “pop in and out of luxury.”

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Marla Singer
Marla Singer
6 years ago

LOL! Well, this is a hall of famer for sure, but also remarkably honest AND sociologically accurate. The conviction among the “marginally comfortable” that the system is basically fine is indeed remarkably strong. Let them enjoy being kicked out of luxury by their new monstrous car payments.

Marginally relevant, Ralph Nader hit a new low today:
“Wanted: modestly enlightened very rich people”

While an argument for a benevolent oligarchy can be made, I suppose, that’s probably the most juvenile way to go about it…

6 years ago

Yeah, but I have always been dead-against the anhedonic academic gasbag lecturers – the signature brand, to use a TCT forumulation, of the microleft. Nader and Chomsky, the two crown prince ascetics, of MIT and Princeton, forever piously intoning on this or that – now they might be right in certain instances, but they have not a cultural or political victory, in the proper sense of the term, between them, in the last 40 years. Dogcatcher in Cambridge, Mass? No. Corporate social responsibility? No. So they may live forever in some sainted repose as the repositories of Jeffersonian goodness, but… Read more »

6 years ago

Sure, I get your views, MD – nihilism is something deep in the psyche, not for those of a more lenient, adaptive bent. I do blame intoners and lecturers for the cheap self-ennoblement they give themselves, and the crowds for being docile venerators. Humans are capable of handling truth, being a very resilient and devious species, and yet so often they can be completely rational in critique but utterly fantastical in hero-worship, as in counterpuncher Michael Donnelly’s sad, pathetic windup to hard-hitting commentary, praising terminal bore Jill Stein here Future wins – I just can’t even imagine what they… Read more »

Marla Singer
Marla Singer
6 years ago

Here is a harsh, but mostly well written and argued application of Chomsky’s propaganda model to himself…

The main complaint (which I tend to agree with) is that Chomsky analyzes the US atrocities abroad in harsh, often unnecessary and dis-empowering detail, while seriously downplaying the extent of domestic repression and the opportunities to take major action.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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