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Even Cadillac Marketing Chief Worried About 'Provocative' ELR Ad

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Turns out that even the marketing chief at Cadillac was "troubled" by the ad it ran during the recent Oscars and Sochi Olympics broadcasts.

The goal, according to Cadillac's advertising director Craig Bierley, had been to air a "provocative" ad that would break through the clutter and draw attention to the brand.

The ad, called "Poolside," certainly did that.

But it also generated considerable pushback from viewers who interpreted the obviously wealthy, hard-charging executive portrayed by actor Neil McDonough as arrogant, insensitive, and contemptuous of anyone not as successful as he was.

Now, according to an article in trade journal Automotive News, even Cadillac's marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus had qualms.

He worried that the ad would seem "snobby, arrogant, and a little aloof"--especially since it wasn't the ELR range-extended electric coupe that was meant to feature in the ad at all.

Ellinghaus swapped in that car at the last minute for a vehicle he declined to name to Automotive News reporter Mike Colias.

Logic would suggest, however, that the U.S. luxury brand's next big launch is the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a huge, chrome-laden, seven-seat full-size sport utility vehicle often favored by music stars and celebrities.

The ELR itself, meanwhile, turns out to be a comfortable, luxurious plug-in luxury coupe that is likely priced far too high to draw significant sales.

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