“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better – the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

So proclaims Cadillac in their new ‘Dare Greatly’ spot, a significant departure from the narcissistic bravado displayed in the ‘Poolside’ ELR commercial they released just a short year ago.  This understated, almost ethereal visual accompaniment to a portion of Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 “Citizenship in a Republic” speech seems to indicate a complete shift in mindset.  Gone are the claims of superiority, the displays of arrogance, and the assertions  of self-importance.  Instead, Cadillac seems to be acknowledging past failures indicating a change in core values.

Rather than portraying themselves as a purveyor of goods for the exorbitantly wealthy, Cadillac are seeking to forge a strong emotional connection with viewers (all viewers) - à la Chrysler’s Eminem-powered ‘Imported From Detroit’ campaign.  Whether or not ‘Dare Greatly’ resonates with viewers on that level remains to be seen, but the raw emotion and authenticity of this spot is undeniable.

In any case, we’re excited to see the rest of the campaign roll out this weekend at the Oscars – check out the 90-second spot that has already been released below.