Automakers are knocking on new marketing doors just about anywhere well-heeled, upscale audiences gather in great numbers.
This year, Cadillac picked the Meadow Brook Hall Concours d'Elegance in suburban Detroit to unveil its all-new 2000 DeVille. At California's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Cadillac also showed its Evoq concept roadster and the Le Mans prototype, and Lexus thrilled the crowd with a stunning fashion show.
About 23,000 car lovers showed up at the 21st annual Meadow Brook show to see more than 300 revered models. Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance showcased rare beauties before about 15,000 attendees.
General Motors and Cadillac sponsored this year's Meadow Brook Concours, including an art award and reception, a press event and a black-tie banquet and art auction featuring 16 automotive artists.
Elle and Mirabella magazines and Saks Fifth Avenue joined with Cadillac to present a fashion show at Meadow Brook. At Pebble Beach, Lexus and the Hearst publishers teamed to offer an invitational show with fashion models matched to Lexus vehicles.
Sponsorships of such events can run from $40,000 to $200,000, say Pebble Beach sources. But costs soar when you throw in the media buy. Lexus dished out about $2 million at Pebble Beach; it's estimated Cadillac's price tag for both events was double that amount.