Cadillac, Porsche Emphasize Accessible Luxury as They Lead Industry Sales Surge


Some luxury auto brands tack back and forth between exclusivity and accessibility, depending on the needs of the moment, their long-term strategies or a combination of both. Mercedes-Benz, for example, is about to introduce its low-end new CLA sedan in an attempt to open itself up to aspirational—but not necessarily high-net-worth—Millennials.

Now Cadillac seems to be taking a page from the same playbook with a new fall campaign under the theme “Work Hard. Be Lucky,” according to Advertising Age, the first work by its new ad agency, Rogue.

“The messaging will lean on American values, such as the notion that everyone can create his or her own destiny,” the publication said. “Cadillac will be painted as a more-accessible car than it has been.”[more]

Cadillac has been consistent in some important areas over the last several years, including a commitment to its uniquely angular exterior-design language, which it continues to refine, and the launch of some highly regarded new products, including the ATS sedan. But its brand positioning hasn’t been nearly as solid, veering lately from messages about exclusivity to those about sexiness to those about performance.

Now, the brand plans to attempt to add to the momentum created by Cadillac’s 30-percent year-over-year rise in US sales (through August). The big ad push won’t begin until November, AdAge said, but some ads under the new theme will begin trickling out sooner.

At the same time, Caddy isn’t veering far from its recent emphasis on fielding vehicles that provide a power rush. In fact, it will expand its new vSport line as an answer to rivals’ performance-oriented lines such as Audi’s S packages and BMW’s M Sport models, according to Automotive News. Cadillac launched the line in August with the 2014 XTS vSport, the first car to get GM’s new 410-horsepower, turbo-powered six-cylinder engine.

The ultimate in performance brands, Porsche, also is making an accessibility play these days: toward women. With its US sales up by 31 percent through August, the best of any brand in the market, Advertising Age noted that female buyers have powered much of the rise, up to about 15 percent of Porsche’s American customer base this year compared with just 8 percent last year. Broader availability and marketing of the Porsche Cayenne SUV and Panamera four-door sedan have been key factors to that brand’s accessibility story.

It turns out that the only thing better than luxury is luxury that more people can enjoy.