Cadillac is no longer focused on having actress Kate Walsh ask us whether our car turns us on. Instead, the automaker is moving in a new direction and that requires a new voice. General Motors has just signed on Laurence Fishburne to become the new voice for Cadillac.
The constant churn at General Motors' U.S. marketing organization continues with the hiring of former Hyundai marketing vice president, Chris Perry (right), to run marketing for the Chevrolet brand. Perry follows former top Hyundai marketing chief Joel Ewanick over to GM just five months after replacing him as the head of marketing at the Korean automaker. Perry is the fourth marketing executive chosen to run Chevrolet in the past 13 months.
When the first-generation Cadillac CTS went on sale in 2003, the brand-revitalizing sedan incorporated a new design language that General Motors called "Art & Science." The idea behind the new design language was to ""incorporates sharp, sheer forms and crisp edges - a form vocabulary that expresses bold, high-technology design and invokes the technology used to design it." The design came with its own marketing campaign too, which brought many new customers to the Cadillac brand.
All the bankruptcy talk surrounding General Motors hasn't helped the largest U.S. automaker on the showroom floor, as sales have dropped by over 50% in 2009. Without additional incentives, GM sales may fall further with the the Obama administration's rejection yesterday of the 100-year-old company's most recent viability plan.
This story over at BrandWeek basically says that while quality among all makes is closer to equal now more than ever, some companies' sales have not improved to reflect that. Several (Hyundai was one named) blame marketing approaches for disappointing sales and hope to use new approaches to attract more buyers. Hyundai COO Steve Wilhite came down pretty hard on his own company:
Somewhat lost in the turmoil of GM's efforts to cut costs and trim excess manufacturing capacity have been the company's plans to make its marketing and retail distribution more efficient. Brent Dewars, VP of Sales for GM's North American operations told Reuters Thursday that the company will move away from ineffective national marketing campaigns to campaigns specifically targeted at key markets like California, Florida and the Baltimore-Washington area.