Assorted ads from Cadillac.
1975 Cadillac El Dorado ad.
1971 Cadillac Sedan DeVille ad.
1970 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham ad.
1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado ad.
1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado & Brougham ad.
1968 Cadillac coupe DeVille ad.
1967 Cadillac Fleetwood ad.
1967 Cadillac Sedan DeVille ad.
1966 Cadillac 75 Limousine & DeVille convertible ad.
1966 Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five 75 limo ad.
1966 Cadillac coupe and convertible ad.
1965 Cadillac convertible ad.
1964 Cadillac convertible and 1966 sedan ad.
1963 Cadillac Fleetwood ad.
1961 Cadillac Sedan DeVille ad.
1956 Cadillac Sedan DeVille ad.
1938 Cadillac LaSalle ad.
1937 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 formal sedan ad.
1937 Cadillac Fleetwood 85 Town cabriolet ad.
1934 Cadillac and LaSalle ad.
1932 Cadillac V-8 2-passenger coupe ad.
1926 Cadillac Silver Anniversary Salon ad.
1925 Cadillac Suburban ad.
1924 Cadillac owner & chauffeur ad.
Paige-Detroit announced its new six-cylinder Paige autos in the January 2, 1915, issue of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. In that same issue the Cadillac Motor Car Co. placed the adjacent ad with the title "The Penalty of Leadership".
In September of 1914, after previously standing behind its four-cylinder engine and stating that it had no intention of marketing a six-cylinder car, Cadillac made the stunning announcement of its eight-cylinder, "V-type" engine. After the passage of several months Cadillac, in the person of Theodore McManus, who wrote Cadillac's advertising, presumably felt an explanation was in order.
Ninety years later "The Penalty of Leadership" remains famous. Compared to ads from Paige-Detroit and other auto makers, it is plain, but this was typical of McManus's work for Cadillac during this period. His ads were packed with text and only occasionally even showed a car. This one's provocative title, however, is as stiking today as it must have been then. The ad makes no extravagant product claims but instead warns the potential Cadillac customer that he must be willing to endure the envy of others for being in the forefront. And, yes, we know Cadillac makes motor cars, but nowhere in it is the reader told what exactly Cadillac is selling, other than status.
Whatever impact "The Penalty of Leadership" had on the public, it certainly made an impression on the advertising industry! Nothing quite like it had been seen before.
It defined the Cadillac and made it stand out from other cars. Perhaps the best compliment to Cadillac, the self-proclaimed "Standard of the World", is that it is a style of ad that has been imitated many times since the original was published so long ago.
Four years later Cadillac repeated the ad in a different format in the January 11, 1919, issue of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. (source: Bill Roberts)
1908 Cadillac Model T and Model S-Runabout ad.
1907 Cadillac Model H Open Touring Car ad.
1905 Cadillac ad. (source: Chuck's Toyland)