Video: Cadillac ELR For Hard Working Americans Only – Must Watch Ad!

FEB 10 2014 BY JAY COLE 64

The ELR - Why We Do It?

The ELR – Why We Do It?

Now this is the kind of ad we have yet to see from GM – or from any automaker really.

It could almost be the anthem to the hard working, affluent class in America.

Actor Neal McDonough (unashamedly) walks us through:

“Other countries, they work, they stroll home.  They stop by the café.  They take August off. (Pause to look at camera and break fourth wall) OFF.   Why aren’t you like that?  Why aren’t we like that?  Because we are crazy driven, hard working believers – that’s why.  Those other countries think we are nuts.  Whatever.  Were the Wright brothers insane….”   – you get the idea

We come away with a couple distinct impressions after watching the video.

  • Good or bad, GM has left their comfort zone…and done so to market the Cadillac ELR.  Who knew?
  • The Cadillac ELR is definitely not going to be sold in Europe
  • The upper middle class in America maybe that guy you hate next door that always has nice stuff and lets you know about it

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64 Comments on "Video: Cadillac ELR For Hard Working Americans Only – Must Watch Ad!"

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“The Cadillac ELR is definitely not going to be sold in Europe” hahaha.. Took me a moment to get that. I suppose you could add Canada, Japan, Australia, etc.. to the list.

I know you were just making a point about non-domestic sales, but the ELR is actually offered in Canada. And thanks to the variance between the currencies, it is actually cheaper there…and by a decent amount.

Cadillac ELR from $78,250 CDN ~ $70,885 USD

Sales are likely focused on Ontario looking at the MSRP, where you get a $8,500 REBATE – bringing the cost down to a magical $69,750 CDN (or $63,185 USD)

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It’s probably not going to be sold all that often in the US either, without a $20k price cut.

The ad is pretty good, I will admit.

There was also a new Chevy Volt ad aired during the Olympics, not quite as good, but better than in the past:

Thx for the link Clarkson. The fact that they are advertising in the Olympics gives me some confidence that GM will keep the Volt around. I have been very concerned about their commitment lately.

Cadillacs are a no go here in Europe, if Lexus does poorly, Cadillac has no chance, but this commercial, I love it.

yeh especially after insulting the entire European community by that crack about taking a whole month off in the summer…

I’m jealous of the Europeans who get to take a whole month off. I guess that means I’m not a hard-working America. Oh well, that’s why I will never afford an ELR.

Haha, I don’t think it was insulting at all (though I don’t live in Europe). He went on to call us Americans crazy. It’s a good commercial, I’m not going to read into it too much.

Not insulting.

In Germany, where I currently work, I have 30 days paid holidays.
I could take all of August off, and still have time left over for a week in winter (for snowboarding in the nearby alps – otherwise I would not be able to afford it).

We also work hard, all the more because we also have a nice work-life balance.

Once in the Canary islands, I learned about “August”. Its like the U.S. “Spring Brake”, but longer and not just for college students.

You got somethin’ against “wage slaves” 😉

I’ll drive a cheap car, take long holidays and enjoy the world. That guy can sit in an expensive luxury car while looking at the tailpipe of the vehicle in front, on his regular rush hour commute, and die 3-5 years earlier than most Europeans.
Love the advert, but just shows how messed up priorities are.

It would be horrible just having a month off in the summer. I take half of june, all of july and half of august off. And then a couple weeks during the winter.
(and when I’m lucky I manage to sneak in a week abroad during the fall or the spring too).

Enjoy life people.

Haha, nice. I’m very envious. I do wish that were possible here in the states. I would take time off over more cash anytime.

I don’t take that personally, you’re a much more driven nation than all of us together, yes I like the healthcare here a little better and for sure the vacations, I get 5 weeks personally, but there is only one America, we’re doing a lot of talk, but no action, Elon Musk knew what he was doing when he went to the US. Tesla and SpaceX would never happen in Europe, ever.

Anyway, as a European I must point out 2 things that are wrong in the video:

1. the guys pants are too short.
2. He shouldn’t have the bottom button buttoned, but correct me if I’m wrong, maybe the rules have changed…

Rules are for conformists.

Yeah, Musk does not take 5 weeks off per year, nor does any of his technical staff at Tesla or SpaceX. You could probably count Musk’s time off in hours, not weeks or days.

I don’t think it matters so much how much he works, he would never get funded in Europe.

Europe did fund the LHC.

Just because for some people work is their life, which I applaud anyone who really finds their dream job, but to enforce the same on everyone else is only seeing one side of the equation. Many in Europe do much the same, think Richard Brandson, but those who need work recovery time, can take it.

That was a pretty good commercial! It may tick off Europeans but in North America it will go over well. If they ever actually pay for it to be televised, which I doubt.
The ELR is a beautiful car. With minimal effort, I think Cadillac will sell or lease 200 a month, and with a little more effort and some incentives, they could easily sell/lease 3,000 or more a year. I think that the latter is the relatively low expectation that GM has set for themselves.

Hey Ziv, I’m pretty sure I saw in the GM-Volt forums that this commercial was seen during the Olympics, so it seems like they are actually televising it at some reasonable level.

Hopefully it wasn’t a one time thing though.

Thanks for the heads up! I don’t watch TV so I have to hear about this stuff online to find out about it. Hopefully GM will spend a little bit on both the Volt and the ELR.
I liked both the ELR ad and the Volt crossing the desert ad.
I never knew that snakes tasted like Brussels Sprouts! LOL!

Not ticked off… just feeling sorry for the ones thinking work is all you have to do in life… There are more important things out there.

Hi Mikael, yes I like my 5 week vacation too, but do you actuallly think SpaceX or Tesla could ever happen in Europe, that’s what the commercial is really about, big things still happen in America and almost exclusively in America

I think that Elon Musk easily could have done that in other places. It’s more about having a central spot with the know-how and technology. But I have to agree that going big and going crazy is easier over there.
Good, bad and awsome EV’s would still have happened but Tesla is pushing the time frame forward a few years.

A lot of big things happen in Europe and other places of the world. Right now it’s actually China pushing the big things (or rather pushing the plans for the big things to come).

So development will and would have happened without the US but with that in mind they are still a big contributer and a lot of amazing things are coming from there.

Mikael, I actually disagree, just like few people below mention, relatively big things happen here too but they are of “collective” nature so I guess I know where the 50% + tax income tax and 20%+ VAT (sales) tax goes to. I think the US is more fit for long term survival than Europe. If things don’t change, I think we’ll just become a museum for the Chinesse tourists. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, Tesla, SpaceX are all American companies. It’s a cultural thing. Europe does invent some cool stuff – Skype, Angry Birds 🙂 and more, but we simply don’t provide the right environment for true industry disruptors.

There are big things happening in Europe too, but they tend to not be so personality driven and have more of a “collective” nature. A few examples are the LHC (biggest science project ever), Airbus, renewable energy infrastructure, high speed rail, etc. Infrastructure, in general, is much better. One can hardly says that their automotive technology lags behind.

The rail system in Europe is amazing. I really wish we could electrify our rail here. It would be great to have affordable electric rail in the USA

But in the USA, we can’t. If we put the hundreds of billions in a rail system that we have put in our roads, how would the smug jerk in the ad get to show us all how successful he is? With an awesome rail system and without all those highways his Cadillac would sit in the garage more often than not, unable to impress anyone.

The Cadillac is a device for conspicuous consumption. It’s much less effective at showing your inferiors how much better you are if you take the train to work.

I would love to see Amtrak expand a great deal, but I also love to drive. I don’t see the two as being mutually exclusive. Nor do I see the desire to drive a great car as being conspicuous consumption. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and the love of a car is about how you feel about the car, not on how others think of you for driving it.
People are just as likely (or unlikely) to be smug about driving a Prius as they are about driving an ELR.

The amazing part to me is that it is so damn expensive to go from, say, Syracuse to NYC, using Amtrak. Isn’t rail supposed to be cheaper?

You should be able to shuttle many more people than a bus, and certainly more people per unit fuel consumed, I would think. Something just seems wrong.

Of course, beyond that I’d love to see the rail electrified too. I guess it’s a pipe dream in a sprawling country like ours. In Europe, I went from Berlin to Prague to Munich to Rome, all on primarily electric rail, and it was amazing and affordable.

I’ll stop ranting now. 😉

Rail would be a lot cheaper except for the fact that we let it fall apart in the 1970-1990 time frame. We went from having multiple trains per day on many lines to having just one or from 15 to 5 or 6. There are huge fixed costs and reducing the amount of trains means that the ticket price has to go up due to fewer trains, which means that people are less likely to take the train which leads to…
Amtrak has set ridership records 10 of the last 11 years and just got the first of the ACS-64 locomotives which will allow them to pay a lot less for operations in the NEC.
The good news is that Amtrak is out from under most of their debt load and will be in a much better place financially in 3 years, and then, hopefully, ticket prices will drop.

There’s no shortage of status symbols in the world. A car is just one of them.

“but in North America it will go over well”

That says more about people in North America than you think it does, and not in the way you think.

The ad is nothing if not a yawp of american exceptionalism. An ugly amalgam of arrogance and insecurity of the grasping well-to-do.

I’d say Cadillac wants a lock on the rich smug asshole market, or at least on those who aspire to be one.

Taken without humor, you may come to that conclusion. However, with the right perspective, this is just a funny and eye catching ad, and even some of our European friends have chimed in to state that.

I say well done, Cadillac. This is a catchy ad in my opinion. Even if I wished Americans cared more about work-life balance and less about money (cases of excessive/unnecessary abuse of welfare/disability aside).

I didn’t know the characters on commercials are a reflection of real life! Tell me, is it true that Audi engineers sprout wings? Are there really mutant Doberhuahuas?

It wasn’t a documentary, it’s called satire.

Ad shows GM’s assessment of the competition, in PHEV, and that they’re confident Germany is years behind. GM is slow vs. Tesla because of will. The Euros are slow to GM because of will.

Coming up from CT this weekend I saw a Diesel / Regular Gas spread of $1.14, at one station! They’re getting that memo, but can’t bring themselves to put a real battery in a regular car. (Snicker) they still think real cars are about the ICE.

As an European I have to say that the work-freetime comparison in this video is so wrong. The year has 356 days, we work about 10 hours a day – if we cut the other 14 hours away, then there about 149 days of worktime left. Then we don’t work on saturdays and sundays, with 52 weeks a year thats 104 days less, so 47 days of worktime left. We have about 16 national, workfree holydays in the year, so 31 days left. And 30 days of paid holiday is what many companys offer their employees. So we Europeans really just work one day a year, I think thats better than being able to buy an ELR 😉

Haha.. unfortunately, your conversion of “10 hours a day” (for 356 days) back into “days of worktime” (149 days) is not valid. The days still exist. Dividing hours to get days does not means fewer days exist. In actuality, 356 days minus weekends leaves 252 workdays, minus 16 holidays and 30 vacation days leaves 206 work days per year.

Huh.. strange, I thought Europeans were much more lazy than that. 😉

Let’s just call my calculation an ironic comment to the vid above 😉

Work hard, buy crap!
It may sell the ELR, which certainly needs all the help it can get at that price.

Well, I will take that with a grain of salt. Cute commercial but slamming the French for their supposed laziness, a standard comedic device, or touting American exceptionalism by citing individual accomplishments of famous Americans, another old fallacious saw, are not convincing. Though the commercial does point out something about the American psyche: our almost unshakable belief in our own superiority.

Case in point: He mentions going to the moon, and also says we are the only ones going back.
A fallacy. In fact it would serve us right if the Chinese went up there, and stole the rover bought it back to Peking and put it on display in Teinemen Square.
Back to the moon. Well how did we manage that?
Well, without doctor Verner Von Braun, and his cadre of German rocket scientists, our efforts in that field would have been far less fruitful.

Not sure what irked me more, the smugness or the hypocrisy. Guy in the ad says it’s not about the nice stuff — while showing us his house, pool, clothes, car, all his nice stuff. Of course it’s about the nice stuff. Nice stuff is how people like this guy show others how awesome he is. While the guy insists it’s all about work yet perversely the ad chooses to show him interacting with his kids, albeit briefly. How touching. Such a great dad. Well dad, what is it all about? Work or your kids? You say work. We who work and have families know different. For guys who are all about work, they are not the dads who spend much time with their families. In fact he’s contemptuous of people who do, and implies he’s superior to those slacker Europeans who can take a whole month to be together as a family. Oh, I get it. You work hours and hours each week and turn your nose up at a month-long vacation because you do it all for your kids. Yeah that’s it. Which is why you can’t spend any time with them, you are too busy showing them… Read more »

Johnny, the ELR character had attitude and style, and I would much rather have a beer and shoot the sh** with someone like him, rather than a whining sort that sees success as being a problem, not a goal. The entire thrust of the ad seems to have zoomed right over your head.
It is a pretty good ad, and it will hit the right boxes for the ELR market.

Success = money and working your ass off? Not in my world… Success is definitely not a problem… the problem is the definition of success.

The ad’s message was not that success = money, it was clearly about realizing one’s dreams; making possible the impossible. As he said at the end – all the toys are just the upshot of that success.

I think it’s great GM finally expressed a brash confidence with their EREV marketing. It’s sort of like Obama’s fruitless efforts to work with Republicans in Congress – they’ve allowed the GM haters – who will never forgive them for the EV1 – way too much rope. The hell with ’em. On with marketing the benefits of EREV and its total elimination of range anxiety….

Stuart, you took the words right out of my mouth. Work intelligently for it and you can have your particular part of the American Dream.
I love this country and I like the attitude GM was looking for in this ad.

Someone has been blowing a lot of BS up your arss, for way too long…

See how much you can make when you only take two weeks off?

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/10/autos-gm-ceo-idUSL2N0LF1CQ20140210

If she worked those other two weeks, she could take home another $550K! Keep working, suckers. 🙂

I would be satisfied with 7,2 millions and just working 50% 😉

No, that ad kicked ass, at least compared to the Volt ad. Contraversy and star power creates interest. I’m thinking that the ELR is now on the map for many folks that didn’t even know it existed.

I thought the Volt ad was forgettable and corny. They should have made it more contraversial and cause a love/hate response like the ELR ad.

I liked the ads. And you might NOT like it, but at least the ads had some “guts” behind it.

The same can’t be said for the car…

But at least there is one cool ads available today on a plugin car…

Now, Cadillac, we need that 200 miles BEV that we all know that you can build.

This is the type of Soft-Sell commercial that I usually get bored with quickly. To make matters worse, the protagonist comes off as arrogant and mean-spirited.

I’m so totally unlike this guy it isn’t funny.

I prefer the hard-sell advertisement from decades ago, where they tell you the features of the car, let you look at it a bit, and then you get to decide on your own whether the vehicle is for you.

I don’t think they’re going to see many if the best they can do is a disagreeable personality. Who wants to identify with that?

I just love that kind of candid american propaganda. I mean, just as if we didn’t have that kind of types here, only having their summer (plus winter skiing, the Director forgot it) vacations!

I’m poor as **** and nearly has been all my professional life. Do you Yanks really believe that I’d be able to “create my luck” better in America the beautiful than here? Let me laugh.

Therefore, as a European, I’ll keep the only thing that lets me forget my relative misery from time to time, my three-weeks vacations in August, thanks.

As an aside, and just out of pity, please let this actor put a pair of trousers on home scenes and provide him with a suit coat that can be buttoned correctly without looking ridiculous, for this one does anyway.

Two thoughts

1) I thought S. Korea worked the most hours, but I know this is a very debatable topic. Also most countries collect their own data, so it may not be reliable.

2) I saw a documentary where several companies were adopting the “4 day work week for 5 days pay” policy. The companies said their employees were happier and productivity went up enough so that the same amount of work got done.

Note: # 2 should not be confused with something like Google’s “20% time”, which is gone now anyway.

Good looking car in that side profile shot. Maybe they will offer a full electric version of it someday?

EV1 did ~100 miles on Lead and ~160 miles on NiMH batteries almost 20 years ago! And it was just a little Saturn car.

Buy an electric car from Government Motors? No thanks.

That commercial is horrible. It makes me proud to be Norwegian and not American.