In 2019, Cadillac launched a new brand campaign, Rise Above featuring a loaded lineup of Cadillac’s family of SUVs during the Oscars. A celebrated TV spot, digital takeover, celebrity influencers and a red-carpet integration set the stage for a successful rollout. To keep momentum going through May, the brand aligned itself with other key cultural moments, specifically the TIME 100 gala on April 23, 2019.
As the presenting sponsor of the TIME 100 Gala and sponsor of the Icon pillar, Cadillac was able to showcase the Cadillac SUVs among the 100 most influential people in the world who have risen above various challenges and continue to strive for greatness.
Cadillac knew that they couldn’t show up like every other brand and in order to make a splash, the brand created a series of ads to run consecutively at the beginning of the special TIME 100 print issue. Developing a contextual Escalade narrative highlighted the nameplates’ iconic place in culture and immediately positioned the brand in the company of the world’s biggest influencers in sports, politics, culture and art.
As Cadillac’s most iconic vehicle, the brand knew 2019 Escalade Sport was front and center throughout all brand touchpoints during the Gala. As soon as guests walked in, they were able to interact with the new 2019 Escalade Sport (Rumor has it, Taylor Swift even did an organic photoshoot with Pat Mcgrath in front of it!).
One of the most exciting elements of the Gala was the customized photo booth made out of 20 Escalade tail lamps. The iconic LED lights created a dramatic, mesmerizing effect with subtle Cadillac branding that encouraged honorees to share on their own social channels.
Other branding elements included the Cadillac and Keep Rising campaign messaging on the blue carpet when guests arrived (image below) the brand logo on the TIME 100 Step and Repeat (image below) and signage throughout space.
Beyond the onsite integrations, Cadillac had John Henry, Liev Schreiber and Yalitza Aparicio Martinez (Yalitiza was on the TIME 100 list and a brand partner at the Oscars) act as brand ambassadors and document the night on their social channels in order to reach an extended audience and seamlessly integrate into the conversation in an authentic way. Due to the exclusivity of the event and the fact that there was no televised broadcast Cadillac was able extend their footprint in a natural way.
Overall, TIME 100 was a success and ground breaking for the brand. Cadillac was able to go above and beyond to extend the nature of the sponsorship and bring the brand message to life while aligning itself with an influential cultural moment.