Remember Cadillac's controversial commercial for it ELR plug-in hybrid? Did you find it provocative? If so, that's a good thing according to the brand's advertising director, Craig Bierley. First aired during NBC's coverage of the Olympic opening ceremony, the minute-long spot returned to the tele again this weekend, bookending the Academy Awards on ABC.

Titled Poolside, the bit was meant as "brand provocation" and whether you enjoyed it or not – sentiment is said to run 3:1 on the pro side – we can probably all agree it fulfilled its role as such. If you were one of those who felt the ad erred on the side of nationalistic consumerism (or what have you), your anger might be somewhat assuaged after reading this article from Advertising Age in which Bierley addresses most of what he believes are misconceptions about the message. For one, the spot isn't aimed at the One Percent, just those who make $200,000 a year. Or, as Craig Bierley, Cadillac's advertising director, calls them, "people who haven't been given anything." Bierley told Advertising Age that the spot doesn't celebrate workaholicsm, instead, "We're not making a statement saying, 'We want people to work hard.' What we're saying is that hard work has its payoffs.'"

While our commentors seemed mostly to enjoy discussing the value proposition that is (or is not, depending on your point of view) the Cadillac ELR, the majority appeared to enjoy the commercial. If you were one of those offended, however, let us know if your opinion has changed upon reading Cadillac's defense. If you don't remember what all the fuss was about, scroll below to take another dip in Poolside.



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  • 96 Comments
      Tom
      • 9 Months Ago
      Hip! Hip! Hurray to the message....Downside? GM took taxpayer buy-out from taxpayers rather than working hard themselves turning the corporate value and, shareholder value over to Union (I am a Union member before you even decide to let your stupid comments translate to our screens). Downside2? It's a battery powered car which is wildly Un-American. We are free people that enjoy our ability to travel the highways, we love our cars. Typically, the bigger, faster, the better. As far as other countries, please keep your caskets on skateboards. American Government? Hello? Are you listening? Many AMERICANS do not want to be sophisticated, socialistic Europeans. Those of us that understand what being an AMERICAN is would truly enjoy that "you" GOVERNMENT take the entire month of August off!. Stupid, dumb voters? Please take every November off.
        rubley00
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Tom
        "sophisticated, socialistic Europeans" Some of us enjoy taking a shower and reading a book once in a while.
          sirvixisvexed
          • 9 Months Ago
          @rubley00
          Hey, look! A pretentious liberal! See how full of hate you are? Unless you're so delusional that you actually seriously believe what you just wrote, then it'd be hard for you to see it.
        SeadogMillionaire
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Tom
        You say "many" Americans, but I think your many is in the minority. Regardless, you don't speak for me and your thinking is ... let's say 19th Century at best !!! "Bigger" ... only for those of you who are bad drivers and need the extra metal to prtect you from the accident you expect to cause. "Faster" ... and what do you do after 70 MPH and I don't need you driving fast down the street where my kids may be riding their bikes. "Better" ... no argument there and since an electric car is cheaper to maintain since they require no oil changes and have 10 times fewer moving parts than a gasoline-powered car, and there's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter !!!
      Jim1961
      • 9 Months Ago
      I have no problem with this advertisement but I do have a problem with people like you who look down their noses at people like me. At age 18 I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. I didn't let that stop me from obtaining an engineering degree and having a fairly productive career in engineering. After 15 years working the stress took it's toll on me and now I'm on permanent disability. Now I'm in the demographic most despised by conservatives, a person who receives a government check. I know conservatives hate gay people, Muslims and hippie environmentalists but conservatives reserve their highest degree of hatred for people like me. I feel your hatred daily.
        Jim1961
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Jim1961
        I meant for this post to be a reply to AddLightness
      Barry Hubris
      • 9 Months Ago
      Love Neal McDonough and the ad is cute because it plays to his strengths. I'd never buy the car, would problably never buy american and don't really like the crux of the message. As an US citizen, I don't see the value in the business world's current you-must-work-24-7 view of "good" employees. For 10 years I followed that path and while financially comfortable, my health suffered and my family was miserable with me working non-stop and being stressed all the time. Funny ad. But not something that will push me to a brand I already associate with the word American stereotypes.
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is the most wonderful ad I have ever seen...We have a 1996 sedan deville....and we can't get ourselves to turn it in.....we love it...We probably wouldn't buy this car but the ad tells it all about what America is or in this day and age should be....hard workers, proud of earning money, and doing what you want with your money....
      • 9 Months Ago
      This ad this the American way! Work hard, get to where you want to be, and if so, get the things you want. Nothing is free and nothing is given to the weak and weary. I love this ad. Just heard about it on the Rush news cast. "If it was easy, we'll all have it..."
          EZEE2
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          I know - mentioning Rush probably just caused blood to shoot out Cool's eyes.
          CoolWaters
          • 9 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Just know with Rush, you're getting a PhD in Stupid. Don't care if he "entertains" you. Just know that you're actually getting less smart.
        SteveG
        • 9 Months Ago
        It's cute that you think that is how reality works.
      champ3x7
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm reading all these negative comments about GM taking the bailout. While I, too, hate that they did it, one has to examine why they were in a position to need it in the first place. It is absolutely true that greed and mismanagement by those who ran the company was a part of it. The bigger......er......BIGGEST......problem with GM's near-demise was the unions. Yes, the unions. They had such massive golden parachutes that now even GRANDCHILDREN of former and deceased workers are getting benefits. GM calls it "legacy costs" I call it GREED. It's a deal which was cooked up by union bosses and begrudgingly accepted by GM to avoid costly strikes. Personally, I'd have told the unions to go pound sand and started the company over...........but that's just me.
      • 8 Months Ago
      This ad is fantastic! I love the actor. I love the car. I love the message. The rest of your 99 percenters can ki$$ my a$$!
      Ricardo Gozinya
      • 9 Months Ago
      The concept that hard work makes you rich is laughable, at best. I know people who bust their asses, and barely keep their head above water. And I know people who don't work hard at all who get filthy rich. I also know people who do work hard and make lots of money, and those who are lazy who don't make much. My point, there's no correlation between effort and wealth.
        brotherkenny4
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Ricardo Gozinya
        Actually there is a correlation between hard work and success. A few anecdotal instances of opposite cases does not accurately characterize a trend. A trend is mostly true but can have exceptions, yet it is generally true.
          Ryan
          • 9 Months Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          It is called passive income. That is how you get rich. Use your money and loans to make a lot of other money without doing physical work. Being an entrepreneur is the right way to make lots of money.
        brotherkenny4
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Ricardo Gozinya
        By the way, rich is a relative term. An educated person is not as desperate for immense wealth because they can understand how to adapt and acheive under almost any circumstance. That is a wealth of knowledge. Only people who are fearful of the future need wealth to protect themselves. However, hard work, and education pay off the majority of times. There can be cases of bad luck or other circiumstances, but those are a minority of cases.
      Marco Polo
      • 9 Months Ago
      Part of the fun of this type of advertisement, is the predictable reaction from the terminally sanctimonious and indignant ! My only criticism is that, although this ad is fun (and generates a lot of free comment) , it's not accompanied by enough "quality" advertising. Amusing ads, need to be balanced by serious ad's, emphasising quality and advanced technology. GM seems to have lost confidence. Given it's recent history, that's understandable, but GM is an American corporation, no GM division should be modest, conservative, or afraid of attracting criticism. The is time for GM to shrug off the mistakes of the past, and do what American marketing does best, create a dream, with enormous amounts of excitement and publicity. Show the world that GM (and America) is back in business. Let GM roar ! Over the decades, GM developed many inefficient and undesirable practices. Many of these were in common with the malaise that had grown up in US society. Today, GM needs to give more creative autonomy and support to its overseas subsidiaries, and domestic Marques. GM needs to revive what was once great about GM, not continue to believe that GM, ( the US) has a "moral" obligation to only produce vehicles for the ordinary motorist. GM is quite right to offer a high priced coupé, by Cadillac. Nor should GM give a damn if 80% can't afford a Cadillac, or think they get better value from a cheaper model, etc, the ELR is not for them. Nor should GM worry about foreign competition, (or Tesla), the Cadillac brand must become be a range of uniquely American luxury vehicles.
      • 9 Months Ago
      Sorry, but the ad is over done no facts about the car, just life style that corporate america wants us to believe in. Last Sundays Parade magazine showed a story about some new cars out and the talked about this one. Do you know all it is a dressed Chevy Volt, the car that never sold, yet, this caddy sells for $ 86,000. where is the truth in the ad. All make believe to make us that we are buying something better. Thats why my parents era was hard work payed off because back then, they believed in what they were buying . No smoking mirrors. Products we buy now have 1/3 the life span of what they bought. We live in a throw away society.
        CoolWaters
        • 9 Months Ago
        Sounds like many repubs I know. So, it's on target.
          EZEE2
          • 9 Months Ago
          @CoolWaters
          hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate
        SeadogMillionaire
        • 9 Months Ago
        The Chevy Volt outsells the limited range Nissan Tesla and the limited range Telsa. And lots of people buy those, so HOW is the Volt a "car that never sold" ??? The only people who do not like Chevy Volts are people who are frightened of and do not understand technology ... but technology is here to stay and has a lot to do with what America great. The remaining folks don't like it because the Volt is built in America, practically hand-built on its own assembly line, and paved the way for other companies to go ahead and build electric cars and improve the gasoline mileage on the remaining gasoline powered clunkers. I am not necessarily questioning your patriotism, I am wondering what your confusion and apprehension is about America's future ???
        EZEE2
        • 9 Months Ago
        Cars we buy now last way longer than cars used to.
          Ricardo Gozinya
          • 9 Months Ago
          @EZEE2
          According to what? I see fewer cars from the 90's on the road than cars from the 60's. People buy cars more often than they used to, whether they need to or not, because the auto industry has successfully turned the automobile into a disposable commodity.
          EZEE2
          • 9 Months Ago
          @EZEE2
          According to everything and everyone. JD Powers, Consumer Reports, etc. I may be older than you, but, I remember when a car hit 50,000 miles, my dad would say, "that car is going to start dollaring you to death." Also, how often did cars make it to 100,000 miles, or 200,000 without needing transmissions, or engine rebuilds? My Beloved 2000 Ford Ranger ULEV (because I care) has well over 100,000 miles, and I have replaced 2 sensors, and ball joints (stupid Ford and cheap rubber on the bushings). Obviously you don't remember such classics as Chevettes, Gremlins, original Escorts, Rust in the Showroom Vegas, Triumph TR7's, Yugos, etc.
      • 9 Months Ago
      Sorry folks, this ad is offensive and no one should be proud of it. You have a rich white guy with a small package talking about how lazy Europeans are. I am a tax paying American who has worked his tail off to put tow kids through private colleges, and I work with people all over the continent - people who work 80 hour weeks when they need to and enjoy their holidays when they can. They are overtaxed, overworked AND they make better cars than general motors.
      Spec
      • 9 Months Ago
      What is he supposed to say? "The ad sucked. I don't know what they were thinking!" . . . nope.
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