Cadillac and Time Warner have just started a new program called “Business Unusual. Daring stories from the road to success.” Comedian Chris Hardwick is the host and the basic concept is that he will interview entrepreneurs who have defied the odds by taking a risk and turning it into a successful business. The outputs are videos featuring Hardwick and the entrepreneur(s) discussing their venture, what worked, what didn’t. The objective is to draw parallels between what these entrepreneurs have done/do and Cadillac.
Fair enough, but let’s face it, the promise to the consumer is an interesting story about an entrepreneur and secondarily a bit of information about Cadillac.
The two available videos (at cnnmoney.com) illustrate the difficulty of finding the balance between providing the content that the consumer is promised versus the commercial message.
The first video is about a company called Wagic and I think does a pretty good job. The entrepreneurs, their business and products are interesting. I felt as if I actually learned something about their business idea and how they succeeded. There is only one moment where I felt the commercial interests intrude. Toward the end, Hardwick asks shamelessly “how do you go from something like this (pointing to a Kiddalac riding toy) to something like this (pointing to a Cadillac CTS).” That then leads one of the entrepreneurs to say, “they (Cadillac) started from scratch, that’s what we would do if we were going to make a revolutionary car.” I don’t mind the opening and closing visuals of the car that Hardwick is driving, but forcing the brand strategy into the conversation was a bit over the top and left me a little frustrated.