Cadillac's "Poolside" ad celebrating American values has created some controversy, but it's about time a brand risked offending someone, writes Grant McCracken, a research affiliate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most brand messages have become too careful and "pleasant" to generate any real excitement or interest. "[A] provocative position, any provocative position, is good for business. It lets the brand breathe. It makes the brand vivid and interesting," McCracken writes.

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