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Cadillac 'Dares Greatly' in New Ad Campaign
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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We're big fans of pretty much anything Teddy Roosevelt. So when we saw the latest ad by Cadillac, with the help of Publicis, we couldn't help but take it up.

The creative comes from one of Teddy's famous speeches about "daring greatly." President Teddy was definitely one of those guys who backed up what he talked about with action.

From creating his Rough Riders to forming the foundation of the "bully pulpit," President T. Roosevelt lived the part of daring greatly, not to mention his rise through the political ranks through the Governorship of New York and the U.S. Department of the Navy (setting the footsteps for another well-known Roosevelt).

Anyway, the fact that Cadillac decided to use Roosevelt's speech is very interesting.

Some of the parallels are intriguing. For example, Cadillac is moving from Detroit to New York City. As we just mentioned, one of the higher achievements in President Roosevelt's career was winning the governorship of New York. The way he dealt with businesses and labor made him a national star.

Perhaps Cadillac's focus could be on creating car models we have yet to see.

President Roosevelt was incredibly well read and was engaged in multiple activities, so much so that he even wrote a book, calling it The Strenuous Life. In it, he claims that life isn't lived unless it is vigorous and well worn out. Could Cadillac adopt this mantra and engage in other functions, other than just being a car company?

Lastly, the ad focuses on the famous excerpt about the "man in the arena." No one should criticize the person actually trying to change something or do something awe-inspiring. In fact, all the credit in the world should go to the person actually trying. Even if he fails, as President T. said in his speech to the Parisians, he "at least fails while daring greatly."

Maybe Cadillac is trying to tell us something. Or even better, those who drive Cadillacs fit the personality of the citizen President T, so hope fills the American landscape.

Not the critics, but the darers, the learned men and women who put their talents and skills to use. 


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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