Cadillac insists its Oscars ad is "neither a political or social statement," but some might see it differently. The ad, which starts with scenes of street protests, says that while the media might tell us "we are a nation divided," the truth is that "we carry each other forward" in all sorts of ways, which are then shown on video. Cadillac, too, has "had the privilege" of carrying quite a few famous Americans, of course, some of whom are next to show up on the screen (think Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali). "But maybe what we carry isn't just people, it's an idea: that while we're not the same, we can be one," the ad closes.
A rep tells Ad Age the commercial "is simply a celebration of the incredible American spirit," but Ad Age thinks it will likely get a lot more attention than the other three ads Cadillac is airing during the Oscars, all of which are more conventional. The New York Times points out that in the current political climate, it's easier for commercials to end up controversial, as happened with some during the Super Bowl. But Cadillac's chief marketing officer insists the spot is not partisan and tells the Times, "We can have a point of view without adding fuel to any controversial political debate." (Read more Cadillac stories.)