The world is moving toward autonomous vehicles and the competition was earning the bulk of the narrative. We had to act. The 2021 Cadillac Escalade was rolling out the enhanced version of Super Cruise, the most extensive update to the hands-free technology since its introduction. We had learned from a study that 85 percent of people who tried Super Cruise said they wanted it in their next vehicle. The challenge then was to convince luxury buyers to simply try driving hands-free with Super Cruise. That’s asking for a lot of trust in a technology that goes against one of the cardinal rules of driving to always keep your hands on the wheel. So, our idea was to showcase some of America’s favorite celebrities taking a leap by driving hands-free in hopes that viewers would be more inspired to follow suit.
Leveraging a diverse mix of celebrities was key, so we appealed to a wide range of target audiences while creating an entertaining and authentic content experience that brought the joy of Super Cruise to life.
We started with Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello. The beloved TV actress and her action star/Escalade superfan husband made for perfect mix to build around. We then enlisted The Jonas Brothers, the trio of American heartthrobs spoke to a younger, music-loving demographic. Entering the world of stand-up comedy, we secured Tiffany Haddish, the popular Emmy/Grammy-winning performer brought her brother along for her ride. And finally, Stephan “Twitch” Boss and Allison Holker, the cohost of the Ellen DeGeneres Show (and established dancer) along with his wife who is also a well-known dancer. Additionally, the pair brought two of their children who sat in the backseat, showing the family-friendly nature of the SUV and inherently spoke volumes about the level of trust they were willing to put into the Escalade.
With the cast set, we placed cameras in the vehicles and filmed as our talent went through the authentic journey of taking their hands off the wheel, each reacting in their own unique style. Jokes were told, songs were sung and relaxation was felt by all once they “let go” and allowed Super Cruise do its thing.
With each group giving us such amazing, entertaining and relatable material, we then had to figure out how to release it all in a strategic way. Our problem was that suddenly we had too much usable content. We cut a hero 90-second piece that included all of our groups and showcased the complete story of the technology. From there, we created four, 60-second pieces, one for each celebrity group to let them share with their fans their complete journey. We also made social specific content for each individual, everything from 15-second Instagram Stories to unique Tweets. We made sure no matter the medium, our story would be available for people to consume all over the digital world. In total we created 109 original pieces of content.
The entire campaign had over 101 million impressions. Within this included 62 million total views on YouTube and over one million reached on Cadillac organic social channels. The earned media team saw some major success too with over 5 million reached from 150 broadcast clips and over one million reached from over 150 online news stories.
Beyond the numbers, the objective was really met in the penetration of non-automotive, pop-culture outlets that covered our story. Places like Dujour and ExtraTV, that focus mainly on celebrity gossip, fashion and trends were suddenly talking about Cadillac and Super Cruise, which is exactly what we set out to do. Our competition often gets talked about in these outlets and now we had solidly entered the conversation.
In the end, the most significant accomplishment though may have been that our campaign increased favorability of Super Cruise technology by 2 percent, a huge lift for a marketing campaign.
This is the success we sought at the onset, huge numbers of impressions, new outlets that don’t traditionally cover Cadillac and its technology and an overall improvement in perception, you can’t ask for much more than that.
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