LOS ANGELES -- Cadillac will launch a broad advertising campaign for the Escalade in time for the holiday shopping season, the first significant marketing effort behind the big SUV since the current design went on sale more than 18 months ago.
Cadillac hasn’t needed to advertise the pricey, third-generation Escalade because buyers have been lining up and paying near sticker price since its spring 2014 launch, the first redesign in about eight years.
“There was simply no need,” for marketing, Cadillac global marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus said on the sidelines of the auto show here. “We couldn’t fulfill the demand anyway.”
But supplies have ramped up over the last several months and the early wave of buyers willing to pay top dollar has receded, Ellinghaus said.
Still, the Escalade has been commanding average transaction prices north of $80,000, up from $69,000 in the last year of the previous generation. Supplies of the redesigned model were tight throughout 2014 and into this year as General Motors scrambled to keep up with unexpected demand for its big SUVs, including the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe and the GMC Yukon. All of the trucks are built at GM’s plant in Arlington, Texas.
Even after shooting up 48 percent last year, Escalade sales have risen another 20 percent this year through October. Those figures exclude sales of the EXT pickup, which was phased out in 2014.
A campaign spanning broadcast, digital, print and other channels will begin in coming weeks. Ellinghaus said the ads will emphasize the Escalade’s refinement for consumers who might not be aware of how big a step up the current model is from its predecessor.
“The Escalade doesn’t have an awareness problem whatsoever,” Ellinghaus said. “What people aren’t aware of is how refined it is and how good the interior is. We will feature that prominently.”