General Motors’ Cadillac has chosen Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, as its new creative agency after a review that began in October, say execs familiar with the matter. The shop succeeds Boston-based indie Modernista, which worked on the account for three years. The final round of the pitch was a three-way battle between Publicis Groupe-backed BBH, PUblicis, New York, and Interpublic Group of Companies. The quick decision made by GM as the final presentations have been taking place over the last two days. BBH and Publicis are said to have made presentations on Wednesday, while Martin Agency was the last to pitch by yesterday noon. All the consultancy Ark Advisors in NY was tapped by General Motors to manage the agency review. “BBH was awarded the Cadillac business for their combination of passion for the Cadillac brand, deep insight into the luxury automotive target customer and outstanding creativity,” Cadillac General Manager Bryan Nesbitt said to the reporters.
Modernista was invited to re-pitch again the account but still declined. Some pitched their ideas but were eliminated before the finals.
General Motors has increased the domestic measured-media spending behind its Cadillac brand for the 2008 full year and nearly to $270 million according to the TNS Media Intelligence. This could be the first auto account for BBH, New York, which is to take advertising for GM’s luxury brand in a new direction. The outgoing agency has had created campaigns that tried to bring an erotic, youthful allure to the brand with famous celebrities like Kate Walsh and also in modern music bands like Phoenix.
General Motors has been making some physical changes related to its advertising initiatives — both internally within the marketing suite and externally with the agencies it works with. In the previous month, it shifted half of its Chevrolet creative account from Interpublic Group’s Campbell-Ewald to Publicis in Seattle and Dallas. Publicis was tapped to handle Olympics work for three models, the Malibu, Traverse and Equinox. Bartle Bogle was a finalist in Audi of America’s review in 2006, and the agency’s London office handles Audi in the U.K. In the Audi of America review, the agency pitched against incumbent McKinney, which had held the account from 1993 to 2006. The account is now with Venables, Bell & Partners.