DETROIT -- Cadillac has a new poster child: the souped-up CTS-V sedan, which Cadillac's new marketing director says fits his idea of a flagship.
The CTS-V stars in its own TV commercial, one of three Cadillac spots launched last week with the new tag line "Mark of Leadership."
The commercials are part of a fresh effort by Cadillac's new leaders and ad agency to take on top European luxury brands. Marketing chief Don Butler, rehired by General Motors Co. in March after a short stint at the telematics company Inrix Inc., seeks to boost the brand's image by emphasizing performance and emotion.
Cadillac sales have dropped for four straight years, and CEO Ed Whitacre is insisting on higher sales of all GM brands. Through four months this year, Cadillac sales rose 27 percent from a horrible 2009, compared with Buick's 50 percent, Chevrolet's 31 percent and GMC's 27 percent.
Cadillac plans to use its V-series performance vehicles as a halo for the brand, Butler says, adding, "It will cause people to think about us differently."
The Escalade SUV, sometimes called Cadillac's flagship, will get its own commercials this summer as "Flagship 2," Butler says.