As Cadillac prepares to zap Led Zeppelin from its ads, the man who created the campaign that helped spark Cadillac's resurgence four years ago offers some advice: "They can't let it go soft."
Gary Topolewski was an ad exec at D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, now called Chemistri, which created the "Break Through" campaign. Topolewski proposed using Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" for the spots, which debuted during the 2002 Super Bowl.
"It was never intended to be the Led Zeppelin campaign. It was to show the rebelliousness of the Cadillac brand and to show that it was going back to its roots," Topolewski says.
But he says he knew Cadillac eventually would have to abandon the music because it was costly to use. "Financially, it was never intended to last forever."
Like any father, Topolewski is proud of the campaign and hopes Cadillac keeps the original spirit, which he describes as an emphasis on bold, beautifully performing vehicles.
"The whole business is about change, and you're always looking for what's the next coolest thing," he says. "I'm not sad to see it go. I'm excited to know that it did what it did. It'll be exciting to see what they do with it next. I just hope it is an extension of what the brand stands for and not a complete redo."