Marketing Report: Jan. 30, 2006

January 30, 2006

Cadillac Papering Super Bowl XL

Cadillac, one of the General Motors' biggest success stories in recent years, is gunning for its fifth consecutive year of sales increases.

Jim Taylor, Cadillac's general manager, said GM's luxury division is confident it can boost sales again in 2006.

For one thing, Cadillac is counting on the introduction of the new 2007 Cadillac Escalade, which is part of the fleet of new SUVs that GM is counting on to help arrest the slide in the company's profitability and market share, he said. The Escalade represents Phase II of the Cadillac renaissance,Taylor said, and will come to market plenty of bling and plenty of good-old fashioned hype when it goes on sale next month.

To get the buzz around Escalade rolling, Cadillac is planning to use Super Bowl XL to kick off Escalade sales, Taylor said. The first television spot for the 2007 Escalade will run during the second quarter of Super Bowl telecast, which has become an integral part of Cadillac's marketing effort in recent years, Taylor said.

Leo Burnett Detroit recruited experts from the fashion world to help create the 60-second spot, "Chrome Couture," which emphasizes the Escalade's unique appeal as pop-culture icon.

The agency created a fashion show for the commercial, in which the Escalade rolls out as models get their hair and makeup done and dresses tailored at the last minute, while fashionistas, paparazzi and celebrities pack in around the catwalk.

Cadillac Papering Super Bowl XL (1/26/2006)
New Escalade will be focus of Caddy's NFL celebration.

 

Toyota Reveals its NASCAR Lineup

At a press conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Tuesday night, Toyota introduced three teams that will campaign a total of six cars in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2007.

Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing had been expected to be named as participants in the Toyota program, but the surprise was the introduction of Red Bull Racing as the third Toyota team. All three teams will field two cars each, and the only drivers that have been confirmed are Waltrip in the No. 55 NAPA Camry and Dave Blaney in the No. 22 Bill Davis Racing Caterpillar Camry.

The Red Bull Racing team has reportedly purchased the former Penske Racing South facility in Mooresville, N.C., and will begin operations as a fully supported factory team, unlike the Davis and Waltrip operations. The team will be led by series veteran Marty Gaunt, who was most recently general manager for the Craftsman Truck Series team Red Horse Racing.

Davis has been instrumental in bringing Toyota into NASCAR, and was one of the marque's flagship teams when the Tundra made its first appearance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004. Toyota's east coast research and development operation is housed in a BDR facility in High Point, N.C.

"This is obviously huge for Bill Davis Racing and our sponsors," said Bill Davis, BDR team owner and president. "It is a great honor and opportunity to be able to continue to build on what we have already accomplished with Toyota as a partner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and carry that alignment over to our NASCAR Nextel Cup Series program."

Michael Waltrip has owned a NASCAR Busch Series operation since 1996, and is expanding into Nextel Cup Series ownership this year, in a joint-ownership deal with former Jasper Motorsports owner Doug Bawel that includes a contractual arrangement for Bill Davis Racing to provide cars, engines, and personnel. The popular two-time Daytona 500 winner will be instrumental in Toyota's marketing efforts, as has been his older brother, former champion Darrell Waltrip.

"Toyota is a leader in the automotive industry and has quickly become a consistent winner in the NASCAR Truck Series," Waltrip said. "The logical step is for them to come into the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and I am honored to be a part of their entrance into the sport."

The ownership structure of Red Bull Racing has not been made clear to this point. If, in fact, the team is owned by the popular Austrian-based drink company, it will be an interesting addition to the company's two Formula 1 teams, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso. The company also maintains sponsorships in the World Rally Championship and in various motorcycle-racing series.

Toyota also intends to compete in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007, but those plans will be revealed at a later date.

 

How About A Free Jag?

2004 Jaguar X-Type side front

2004 Jaguar X-Type side front

What sort of incentives do you expect when you sign on the dotted line for a property? Perhaps a freezer or a dishwasher. But how about a Jaguar? That's the amazing deal one real estate firm is offering when you buy a residential, retail, or commercial unit. You could even get a fleet of cars; the small print reveals if you opt for a full office floor you get ten X-Types. It's certainly one way to shift the slow-selling sedan. You're waiting for the catch, aren't you? We'd love to tell you there isn't one, but… you have to buy the property in the Arab Emirate of Dubai, and the company behind it, Damac, says it will only deliver the Jag there, too. Still, you could always ship it home. -Richard Yarrow

More in TCConfidential

 

Jeep's BellMoves to Product Strategy

Chrysler Group announced last week that Jeff Bell will be moving from Chrysler/Jeep to become the group's new VP of product strategy. Bell, 44, had been the vice president of marketing for the Chrysler and Jeep brands worldwide. He will report directly to Chrysler COO Eric Ridenour. The move is the second in the past week to affect Chrysler's  marketing team, with the departure of Julie Roehm last week for Wal-Mart. Chrysler also said that Gordon Heidacker would become its director of strategic products, reporting to Bell, and that Stephen Bartoli will be its vice president of global product planning and marketing.

2006 Jeep Liberty Limited Diesel by TCC Team (1/16/2006)
In it for the long haul.

 

Roehm Leaves Chrysler for Wal-Mart 

Chrysler director of marketing communications Julie Roehm, 35, is leaving Chrysler where she led advertising efforts on Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep, to be senior vice president of global marketing communications at Wal-Mart.

Roehm has been known at Chrysler for pushing the company into risky ads in the spirit of trying to get attention: a pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl that runs at half-time during Super Bowls, the Dodge Hemi ad campaign that has drifted into "blue" situations and dialogues and ad scenarios that flicked at themes like spouse swapping and having sex in cars.

 

Cosmai Out at Hyundai

Bob Cosmai has been replaced at the helm of Hyundai's U.S. operations, the automaker said on Tuesday. O.S. Koh will take over as the new president and chief executive of the South Korean automaker's American sales arm for Cosmai, who had been on the job since 2003. The AP reports that Hyundai did not say whether Cosmai was fired or resigned, only that the company and the man "have ended their relationship." During Cosmai's tenure, Hyundai sales boomed and could read 500,000 units in the U.S. this year thanks to an aggressive new-model campaign that has added models like the Azera to the brand lineup. His replacement Koh is a senior vice president at Hyundai.

2005: The Sales Year in Review by Mike Davis (1/11/2006)
Some surprises when you dig behind the brand names.

 

HUMMER Ad Chief to Cadillac

The woman who helped craft the distinctive ads that propelled HUMMER through its launch has left the brand for Cadillac. Liz Vanzura will become director of global marketing for Cadillac, replacing Jon Brancheau. Vanzura is responsible for green-lighting some of the clever, evocative ads that helped HUMMER into the national spotlight, all under the tagline, "Like nothing else." Reports indicate that HUMMER's general manager Susan Docherty will take over Vanzura's role while a search for a replacement is undertaken.

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