Here PDL AE rant of the week www.autoextremist.com
At odds with itself, insipidness reigns at Cadillac.
DateSunday, November 23, 2014 at 07:36PM
By Peter M. De Lorenzo
Detroit. Just when I thought it was safe to set aside the discussion about automotive marketing for a while, a colleague sent along a link to an article in Fortune about an alleged Cadillac marketer that was so vapid and so embarrassingly offensive that it almost defies description. Almost.
And I use the word “alleged” because by the time I finished reading it I couldn’t for the life of me fathom why this person was even employed by Cadillac, let alone squiring the title of “director of brand and reputation strategy” for GM’s luxury division.
The writer, who shall remain nameless out of sheer pity, decided to write about one Melody Lee, who distinguishes herself by uttering such a collection of banal and flat-out stupid pronouncements that it pegged the AE Marketing Cringeworthy Meter at “11.”
With her millennial credentials strapped firmly to her sleeve – this is apparently a very big deal to her – she regaled the writer about her role as Cadillac’s millennial expert in residence, muttering, “I’ll often say, ‘Well, do you want a millennial’s perspective?’ You have one right here.”
I’m glad she clarified that, otherwise one might get the impression by her other statements that she should be selling discount near-luxury shoes somewhere. (Then again she was hired by the inimitable Bob Ferguson, the GM lobbyist who was plucked from obscurity by the clueless Captain Queeg to run Cadillac and who was so relentlessly out of his element in his brief tenure that he set the division back five years. It’s truly depressing that Dan Akerson’s Reign of Terror still haunts GM like a bad dream.)
Adhering to the now-obligatory Company Line for Cadillac, Lee said in the interview, “We want to be a global luxury brand that happens to sell cars. We don’t want to be an automotive brand. There is nothing that exciting about an ad with a car in it by itself. We need to start injecting more humanity into our brand and into our advertising.”
Lee has all of the rote jargon that the Cadillac management team holds dear down pat. (There seems to be an undercurrent to all of this going on here that goes something like this: “If we say it often enough the media might actually believe it even though deep down we are straining to believe it ourselves.”)