Helping Cadillac reclaim its throne as the automotive leader in luxury and performance.
Role: Associate Creative Director / Art Direction / UI Design
For years Cadillac had been left in the shadows—a tiered, sluggish image of what it once was: "The Standard of Luxury and Class." Armed with a new fleet of modern and powerfully designed vehicles, BBH and Digitas partnered to create "The Mark of Leadership" campaign. It would push Cadillac to be audacious and once again regain its rightful throne as an automotive leader and the standard for luxury. The campaign aimed to recharge the classic Cadillac logo as the DNA of the brand. It became a reminder that American design and engineering is still a force to be reckoned with.
The cars move with explosive speeds and laser sharp precision, the site would need to do the same. I based the site's behavior on Karate martial artist doing Kata. It became a good reference to help the team of animators and developers grasp the concept.
Grid & Layout
The most challenging part of the project was to create a grid system that was based on the Cadillac logo, but could also work in the context of a website with the typical features to promote products and be able to tell the brand story—all built on top of GM's proprietary CMS. Needless to say, there was a lot of back and forth between making sure we were executing to the campaign look and feel but making it functional with the limitations of the CMS.
Successes & Failures
It was truly amazing to be a part of a project of this type of scale and magnitude. From a design perspective the campaign was an absolute success. This was exactly the type of energy that the brand needed to catapult back in to contention. I'm very proud of the work we were able to do, everything from winning the pitch to collaborating with BBH to help create an all encompassing 360° campaign. However, there were also many failures along the way. Ironically the entire project base a balancing act of form and function. Things had to look and behave a certain way, but they just didn't work.
One of the main features and most time consuming builds was the navigation. It was part based on the grid system that we created (based on the logo) and part the actual logo. It spun into the screen to reveal the sub navigation with visuals of car's exterior and interior gliding into position. This became a wow factor but a total usability nightmare. Quickly after the launch we proposed a more traditional/intuitive nav that was user tested and site optimized for performance.
Watch the website design and animation video-prototype below: