How to Sell Prestige

English 102-113
08 February 2007
How to sell prestige
As the title in this ad for Cadillac suggest, driving or owning a Cadillac implies that the owner will be part of an elite group of people that are privileged, well-to-do, and admired in society. Over the years General motors corp. has displayed this recurrent theme in their advertising for Cadillac. “You will be looked upon as wealthy”, is one of the subliminal messages implied here. This tactic has been the corner stone of their campaign selling hundreds of thousands of Cadillac every year.
This type of advertising strategy appeals to consumer’s subconscious desires. Jib Fowels in “Advertisings 15 Basic Appeals,” Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, identifies 15 types of emotional appeals used by advertisers. In this Cadillac ad, two appeals become apparent on closer observation. These appeals are the need for affiliation and the need for prominence.
Wanting to be in good company is a natural human trait. And affiliating with those of desirable qualities is part of our basic characteristic, according to Fowels. In our Cadillac advertisement, this appeal is built upon the background setting in which the car is parked. This is the front of an obviously expensive hotel, complete with bell hop service and well dressed patrons entering and exiting the building. The car is parked in front of this establishment (empty) signifying a valet service. The couple left of center page is in Black-tie apparel, suggesting affiliation in some “ritzy” affair. Their position (standing still) and facing the car could convey the idea that they are the owners of the car awaiting valet service.
The couple ascending the stairs towards the front of the car are well dressed but appear to be only heading towards the entrance as guest. The gentleman towards the rear of the car handing the keys to our valet (the colored gentleman) also co notates an affluent establishment. Maybe he’s a businessman returning at the end of...