Cadillac's Wild New Ad Is Driven by All the Songs It Inspired

Rodrigo Saavedra's giddy spin through pop culture

"With the radio playin' our song, we keep rollin' along."

Cadillac toots its own horn in this two-minute film from Leo Burnett Mexico and director Rodrigo Saavedra, trumpeting the nameplate's pop-culture cred across movies, art and music. 

If the voiceover lines delivered by L.A. rapper Tammy sound familiar, that's because you may have heard them before—cranked up on your car's speakers. The copy incorporates lyrics from songs that mention the vehicle: Aretha Franklin's "Pink Cadillac," Rihanna's "Shut Up and Drive," Dwight Yoakam's "Long White Cadillac," Ariana Grande's "Cadillac Song," Hot Chocolate's "Heaven Is in the Back Seat of My Cadillac" and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "White Walls." 

Saavedra winks at his audience with cheeky visuals, as various Cadillacs, all current models, cruise past rockers, rappers and street musicians from different eras. There's a suitably action-packed visit to Hollywood, and a glimpse of the world's most self-aware art gallery, with patrons wigging out for their 15 minutes of fame.

In the end, we're told that more than 3,000 songs, 16,000 art pieces and 17,000 films were inspired by Cadillac. (But who's counting, right?)

"Cadillac itself is a piece of art, which in turn inspired various other pieces of art—it's a case of art imitating art," says Leo Burnett creative director Federico Russi, who believes this message will resonate with consumers of all ages. "We are an inspiring brand that goes beyond the limits of time to inspire future generations. Art will never die, and our inspiration won't either." 

Saavedra, among the most stylish commercial directors, delivered the complex piece in just three days.

"We had to shoot in the woods, in urban spaces, and in a drive-in cinema, which was really just an abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere—oh, and by a volcano," he says. "It was a massive logistical challenge, but our crew was super tight, and it all just worked." 

Much as the copy combines verses from different songs, some off-the-cuff fusion took place on location. 

"We were shooting the street musicians scene—and most of them were actual street musicians, so you can imagine it was pretty difficult to keep them from playing in between takes," Saavedra recalls. "At one point, this guitarist who had this Jimi Hendrix kind of vibe approaches the mariachi band and starts requesting songs. Suddenly we had 'Jimi Hendrix' singing mariachi songs at the top of his voice." 

CREDITS

Client: Cadillac
Agency: Leo Burnett Mexico
ECD: Federico Russi.
Producer: Jorge Amaré.
Head of Production: Roberto Collazo.
CD: Guto Kono y Pablo Miranda
Account Manager: Bernardo Verduzco.
Production Company: Landia
Director: Rodrigo Saavedra
Cinematographer: Carlos Ritter
Production Designer: Fernanda Guerrero
Producer: Thomas Amoedo, Gastón Magnani
Line Producer: Karla Nassar
Post Producion: Mosh
VFX Supervisor: Bruno Vianna
Sound: BDS
Composer: Ezequiel Sanpietro
Colour Grading: Marla
Colorist: Fernando Lui

David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.