General Motors Co. (GM), which begins selling the new Cadillac ATS compact car in August, on Wednesday launched one of its most crucial marketing campaigns since the automaker emerged from bankruptcy as it takes aim at BMW’s 3-series.
The marketing campaign begins with a 2-minute video on YouTube and will include 10 TV ads during the Olympic Games in London, starting with the opening ceremony on July 27. Video clips are to begin appearing this week, on cadillac.com/ats.
The clips and commercials are part of a campaign that carries the theme “Cadillac ATS vs. the world” and takes the car to Chile, China, Monaco and Morocco. The locations were chosen to put the ATS through some eye-popping paces, among them the Guoliang Tunnel Road in China and the Monaco Grand Prix course.
But the cameras are as focused on the driver behind the wheel — race car driver Derek Hill and actor Ross Thomas — and their reactions to the hairpin turns, intense braking, and plowing through one of the windiest spots on Earth.
“This is the biggest content play we have ever done.” Molly Peck, director of Cadillac advertising and sales promotion adds that Cadillac’s ATS site and social channels will have some 40 ads and online video “from specific footage focusing on product features, down to the other end of spectrum with content about the places.”
Don Butler, Cadillac vice president for marketing declined to say how much GM is spending on the campaign for the ATS, Cadillac’s first compact car in about 25 years.
The ATS — set to go on sale later this summer starting at $33,990 — expands Cadillac’s sedan lineup from the mid-size CTS and full-size XTS, which went on sale last month.
The EPA has tested Cadillac’s smallest sedan and rated it at 22/33 mpg city/highway and 26 mpg combined. Cadillac had said the car will deliver 30-plus mpg highway in at least one variation.
The entry luxury segment is heavily dominated by German carmakers, especially BMW, which sold almost 93,000 of its 3-series sedans, coupes and wagons last year. Until now, Cadillac hasn’t even had an entry in that segment.