DETROIT — Cadillac's TV ad campaign this year featuring the sweeping Escala concept was meant to be a forward-looking exercise that relayed the brand's design aspirations to the world.
But some consumers who saw the commercials, which debuted during the Oscars in February, didn't quite grasp the "forward-looking" part. They've been heading to Cadillac showrooms to inquire about the car, only to find out that it's not for sale, and never will be.
That's a risk Cadillac was willing to take as it tries to rebuild the luxury brand's cachet around a new design language that's less square and more captivating.
Uwe Ellinghaus, the brand's chief marketing officer, says Cadillac is serious about blending the Escala's design cues into its future lineup, so there's nothing wrong with pitching it to TV audiences as a creative springboard.
"Had it been just another concept vehicle which is glorious, but not with a serious intent to produce something similar in the future, I wouldn't have done it," Ellinghaus told Automotive News.