ATLANTA -- In one of the commercials that Cadillac plans to run as part of next month's launch of the new ATS compact sedan, a driver gushes that the car "outmatched the BMW 3 series!"
Now, there are two schools of thought on calling out a dominant rival in an advertisement. One theory: Doing so simply reinforces who's the top dog.
Cadillac execs take the opposite view: They believe you've got to be bold when you're the underdog, a role that they're embracing as they launch the brand's first compact sedan in three decades.
"Now's not the time to be timid," Cadillac marketing boss Don Butler said during the media launch of the ATS here this week. "We need people to take notice" of what General Motors execs believe is a worthy 3 series rival.
In February, Cadillac caught some flak for mentioning the 3 series in its first, and so far only, ATS commercial, which ran during the Super Bowl. Butler had described that as a one-off to coincide with the February launch of the redesigned 3 series.