Apparently struggling to find an original angle, Cadillac has decided not to show any actual cars in its latest ad.
Set to run during the Academy Awards broadcast on ABC this Sunday, "The Arena" features people walking in slow motion around New York City (where Cadillac recently moved its headquarters) to a reading of President Theodore Roosevelt's 1910 speech "Citizenship in a Republic."
The ad's title is taken from that speech, as is the accompanying hashtag, #DareGreatly.
While it's unclear whether T.R. himself would have fancied an Escalade, the ad is part of a larger effort by Cadillac to reinvent itself.
Under recently-installed boss and former Infiniti head Johan de Nysschen, the General Motors luxury brand orchestrated its move to the Big Apple, announced a new flagship luxury sedan called the CT6, and a new model naming strategy.
Cadillac also tried to enhance its image by simply raising prices, but this strategy quickly backfired, forcing the brand to cut prices on the CTS sedan by as much as $3,000 in January.
These seemingly-erratic moves are the result of Cadillac's still precarious position. Despite over a decade spent honing the CTS, the brand is still having trouble shaking off the image that its cars are for old people, or that they're just dressed-up versions of plebeian GM models.
Will avoiding showing cars in ads change any of that? We're not car salespeople, but it would seem that building good products and actually showing them to people would be a more straightforward way of moving them off dealer lots.