Want to have some brand fun? Compare the new video from Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis for “White Walls” with one of Cadillac’s latest videos—looking slick and Madison Avenue. Cadillac’s ads are all swagger, performance and attention to detail— with cars that are sleak and fast—they’re literally blowing the doors off Audis in the latest Twin-Turbo XTS spots. Ah, but the homeboys want to keep dragging them back to the hood. Back to the striving and the working class dreams. The white wall tires and wire wheels—old school Cadillac. So, has Macklemore (Mack the Knife) cut through to some essential brand truth here?I wanna be free I wanna just live Inside my Cadillac That is my shit Now throw it up (I throw that up) That’s what it is (that’s what it is) In my C A D I L L A C bitch (biatch) Can’t see me through my tints (nah ah) I’m riding real slow (slow motion) In my paint wet drippin shinin’ like my 24’s (umbrella) I ain’t got 24’s (na-uh) But I’m on those Vogues I got that off-black Cadillac, midnight drive Got that gas pedal, leaning back, taking my time I’m rolling that roof off, letting in sky I shine, the city never looked so bright
Lorde in “Royals” brings us more dreaming of the good life in a Cadillac and not one of those ostentatious Maybachs.But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room, We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams. But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece. Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash. We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.
Cadillac is playing at an entirely different level here. It is aspirational, American, timeless and bad ass. But there is some dissonance here: the big, stylish cruisers of pop dreams don’t exist anymore as new cars, unless you count Escalades. Cadillac needs a big ol’ halo car. A Sedan deVille for the 21st Century. It needs to build something like the Elmiraj Concept if it want’s to keep the pop songs coming.