Cannes Lions


FALLON, Minneapolis / CADILLAC / 2013

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In the United States, branded entertainment is usually negotiated on a case-by-case basis with each media outlet and/or program participant. For the launch of the ATS campaign during the 2012 Olympics, we had to work through considerable network and legal approval of our spots - especially given BMW’s role as the official automotive sponsor of the games. Each product claim based on features of the vehicle had to be supported through an affidavit signed by Cadillac engineers, and any use of animals in the spots needed approval from the Humane Society after we confirmed there was no harm done in the production of the commercials. For the content shot in Monaco specifically, we were unable to show any signage by the Monaco Grand Casino - otherwise it would be deemed restricted content based on advertising for a casino. All lifestyle digital content required coordination and permitting with local, and in the case of China, national government authorities.


The media team not only had to negotiate the media surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games, but the idea needed to be integrated on digital channels simultaneously in order to properly leverage the mass audience reached during the Games. Given that BMW was an Olympic sponsor, any media placement needed amplification in order to seemingly hijack their sponsorship. Execution required a highly coordinated effort in conjunction with partner agencies and automotive and luxury media outlets. This included seeding a 2-minute trailer online to coordinate with Cadillac’s press announcement regarding the campaign prior to the opening ceremonies on July 27. Ultimately, all content was distributed in a way that leveraged print as well as the 4-screen lifestyle—TV, Web, tablets and mobile--driving users to a rich online experience optimized for each platform.


Cadillac hijacked the Olympic sponsorship from BMW. During the Games, shopping traffic for the ATS rose 400% on third party sites vs. only 12% for BMW. Cadillac also overtook the BMW 3-Series in Internet search, at times tripling their search volume.

Most importantly, 7 out of 10 ATS buyers are new to the brand. Of all buyers, 86% indicated that the advertising helped improve their opinions of Cadillac. This momentum has sparked overall growth as well: Total Cadillac sales were up 38% in Q1 2013, and March alone saw an impressive growth spurt of 50% vs. just a year ago.

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