DETROIT -- The commercials that Cadillac teed up for the Oscars broadcast Sunday night could be seen as simply the first step in what brand boss Johan de Nysschen has described as a "journey" to luxury prominence.
Or maybe it's the crushing of the first batch of grapes -- de Nysschen has also likened Cadillac's comeback to "crafting a fine wine."
Whatever the analogy, it's clear that Cadillac's new "Dare Greatly" advertising theme carries a heavier load of expectations than most campaigns.
Since de Nysschen arrived in August, he and marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus have talked frequently about Cadillac's myriad problems and what needs to be fixed. They and their bosses at General Motors have made clear that reinventing Cadillac's stodgy image is the top priority.
The new advertising is some of the first tangible evidence of the new vision for Cadillac.
Reinvention is a major theme. One of the spots planned for the Oscar night debut featured five innovators, mostly in creative fields, who have done the unexpected in game-changing ways.
One was Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, who appeared with a subtitle: "How dare a college dropout invent the personal computer?" Another, fashion designer Jason Wu, said his parents "dared to let me be different." The ad asks: "How dare a fashion intern become an arbiter of style?"