Why do General Motors’ Cadillac ads conspicuously omit Apple and Steve Jobs?

By SteveJack

Why do two of General Motors’ current Cadillac ads mention famous American inventions, companies and bands born in garages, but conspicuously omit Apple, which just happens to be the world’s most valuable company?

The voiceover for GM’s “Garages” ad for the Cadillac CTS sedan reads:

The Wright Brothers started in a garage. Amazon started in a garage. Hewlett Packard and Disney, both started in garages. Mattel started in a garage. The Ramones started in a garage. My point: You never know what kind of greatness can come out of an American garage.

No Apple. Seriously? This is like having an ad that names famous soft drink companies not naming Coca-Cola.

The omission is so blatant, the only answer has to be “follow the money.”

In another currently-running Cadillac ad that lists famous American innovators, Cadillac’s ad copy mentions Bill Gates — whose claim to fame is ripping off the look of the Mac and foisting his backwards and upside-down, insecure rat’s nest of code upon the world — but, even more conspicuously, omits Steve Jobs. How can a commercial that seems to be describing Steve Jobs to a T, not actually mention Steve Jobs? Imagine if there was an ad naming successful U.S. Presidents that failed to include George Washington? It’s ridiculous!

Who’s pitching in for this co-op campaign to subtly cross-promote and blatantly ignore Apple within Cadillac’s ads, Samsung, Microsoft, or some other outfit(s)?

Expunging Apple in these ads only serves to scream “Apple!” and “Steve Jobs!” to anyone with even a passing knowledge of famous American companies born in garages and famous American innovators.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.


MacDailyNews Take:

Dear GM and cohort(s),

We noticed, you idiots. How could we not?

By the way, Apple product users dominate your target market, morons. Who are you going to insult next, 75+ white men with discretionary income who still think “Cadillac” means something?

Not that we’d be likely to ever consider a friggin Cadillac anyway, but you’ve just insured that we never will.


  1. Cook has been sucking on Obama’s tailpipe for so long that he has forgotten what it’s like to suck on fumes from Government Motors.

    1. Heh…I hope as an astroturfer you’re not getting paid by the quality of your posts as anyone here knows that Apple is in trouble with the DoJ for NOT sucking up to Obama.

        1. There has to be an agreement between the CEOs before the ad agencies get involved. So how is this the agency’s fault if they don’t get the account to begin with?

          What? You think HH turned down the Apple account, in spite of GMs insistence to get Apple on board? That’s sorta like the tail wagging the dog.

  2. Yeah, that hit me right off. On another note, was anyone else unable to fast forward through commercials on the Oscars last night?.
    Comcast Xfinity box after pausing I could not FF. Is this due to the advertisers paying extra for this feature?. Or maybe my X1 box is screwed up.

  3. I noticed that too. But i am OK apple not being there. Rather than talking about what they are doing with their car, they are trying to associate themselves with the highly successful companies.

    So, they probably approached apple asking permission to use their name and apple would have said NO.

    So, no apple and No SJ

    1. No permission from Apple Inc. or the Steve Jobs Estate is required for these ads to use “Apple” or “Steve Jobs” in the context presented.

            1. Actually G4Dualie was correct, although perhaps did not understand why.

              The default in free speech is you can say anything about anyone. Only when that speech is fraudulent (such as implying Apple support where there is none) can it be restricted.

              Also, being able to talk freely about history and public figures (which Apple and Steve Jobs certainly are) is very strongly upheld as one of the main reasons why free speech is so important.

          1. Okay, I’m backing off on this issue. I’m the one who is wrong. I couldn’t find anything at Apple legal banning the use of “speaking” about Apple in the context of a television commercial.

            However, I’m convinced Apple was contacted and that they declined to participate simply because they didn’t want their brand associated, Implied or otherwise, with ANY company other than their own marketing strategies.

            I apologize for the use of the word “bullshit”.

      1. The glaring omission exists because Apple turned them down.

        Besides if Cadillac didn’t need Apple’s permission, wouldn’t they be using Apple in their ads?

        Media Attorney my ass. Ever heard of Apple Legal’s infamous Cease and Desist letters?

      2. While the facts about Apple and Jobs starting in a garage are public knowledge and would not require permission from Apple to state such, it’s most likely that Cadillac asked for permission out of courtesy and was turned down by Apple. My guess is Apple, with its iOS in the Car push, did not wish to be seen as favoring one automaker over another, and declined to be featured. The other companies (except Microsoft, even with Ford dumping it) are not involved in auto manufacturing, so they were probably thrilled at the free press.

  4. Be happy Apple isn’t associated with Cadillac in this commercial. Americans do not make great innovative cars, at least not anymore (with exception of Tesla). And Cadillac is the HP of cars.

    1. Actually, that is an out dated statement. Maybe take some time to look into how the new Cadillacs are built and why that choose to use certain materials. How they achieved a lighter body than even BMW with structural loss in rigidity. GM changed drastically when the last bean counter was replaced in 2002.

      1. Perhaps NCG598, you should read Consumer Reports. Look at the frequency of repair record for Cadillac. See all the solid black circles? A black circle means much worse than average.

    2. Blue…..

      While some American cars manufacturers struggle to make decent cars, I don’t think you can say all makes and models.

      I disagree with your assumption of Cadillac. The CTS is a solid model as is the Chevy/GMC Silverado truck. As for the Chevy Corvette, seriously?! I would put that up against any major sports car for reliability, performance, gas mileage, price, amenities, you name it. While Porsche, Ferrari, and others are super cars, their reliability are no better and cost of ownership is crazy expensive. But I guess if you have that kind of money, you can pay for the maintenance and if it breaks down someone will come pick you up in a limo.

      Don’t get me wrong, there are great German and Japanese makes and models but their are also some real dogs as well.

      People shouldn’t make assumptions until they actually experience these cars/truck. I’d take a Cadillac CTS-V any day to go along with my Vette and 1994 Chevy Truck.

      Without a doubt the two of the most reliable vehicles I’ve ever owned. More reliable then the German makes and models I’ve owned. As for the Toyota’s and Honda’s? Those buggers are amazingly reliable but can’t say they wow me with amenities and power but damn they last a long time.

      The new Cadillac’s are not your grandpa cars any longer and I think you should give some US car manufacturers their due. Come on people, all I hear on this site is people saying Apple needs to manufacture in the US but then on this subject you say US manufacturers can’t make shit. Give american works a break. If you have good management and workers, we can compete with any nation.

      My 2-cents.

    1. Cadillac is our fathers’ generations’ car and doesn’t factor with Apple employees. I’m guessing of course.

      But I’d be interested in just how many Apple employees drive Cadillacs. Those who can afford them might buy something else, perhaps foreign-made cars, but there is probably something on record in Apple U attesting to Steve Jobs’ loathing of American-made cars, especially fake luxury cars like Cadillac.

      1. Again, you’re wrong. Cadillac has drastically re-invented itself and is no longer a boat on wheels with leather.

        Anyone who omits Cadillac from their shopping simply because Cadillac didn’t put Apple in its commercial has real issues. If they omit Cadillac because they don’t like the styling or whatever, fine. But refusing to consider a very nice car simply because a commercial did not include another company’s name? Silly and petty.

          1. You’re not much of an auto aficionado. The CTS has won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year twice in six years, including 2014. It has been named in Car and Driver’s Best Ten list six times since 2008. The ATS was the North American 2013 Car of the Year and the 2012 Motor Press Guild Vehicle of the Year.” All the motoring magazines regularly run comparison tests in the different classes between luxury sports sedans and coupes from the world’s top automakers and the Cadillac offerings usually finish in the top third.
            Even the Chevy Volt is gaining popularity now the GOP politicians have stopped bad-mouthing it and trying to tie it to Obama (the Volt project was started under Bush). The Volt has won numerous awards such as the 2009 Green Car Vision Award, 2011 Green Car of the Year, 2011 North American Car of the Year, 2011 World Green Car and 2012 European Car of the Year.

            1. Please. These awards are handed out to the companies that do the most advertising. I don’t doubt that the newer Cadillac’s are better than the boats of yesteryear, but every time I check out long term reviews, I see that their reliability is not in the same league as others. I have a 2001 Lexus LS430 with 180K miles and it’s as tight as it was new. I have a friend with a newer CTS and that thing rattles like a box of rocks.

            2. Care to explain just how exactly are you doing long term reliability comparisons of 2011 and newer vehicles?????? And how much “newer” is your friend’s CTS? They were introduced in 2003. The original version was completely different to the 2nd and 3rd gen models – not exactly the newer vehicles we’re talking about here.
              And, FWIW, I have a nicely appointed 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup (4 doors, leather, memory seats, etc.). The only thing that has ever gone wrong on it was the 4WD actuator mechanism. The center console squeaks against the seats when going over rough ground; otherwise it is as “tight as a drum.”
              You may not like GM vehicles for a variety of reasons. But to be so obviously biased against them when it’s clear you have no idea of what the cars are like simply emphasizes that you have your own agenda in bad mouthing them.

      1. name calling? yeah, I am sure you have “been around for decades”…dude, you are a teenager going through puberty, guaranteed. If not, well then I feel sorry for your “type”

        1. If not, well then I feel sorry for your “type”

          Don’t waste your feelings on me, mike. I’m sixty-years old and have used Macintosh my entire adult life. Before the Mac it was the Apple ][.

          I have never owned a PC and I find real comfort in that fact.

  5. Apple may be the reason. They would have had to allow GM to use their name. Apple has always been very controling of their brand. They have not let carriers use iPhones in ads with other brands. I can see Apple not wanting to be used in the same ad as other companies, especially their rival HP.

    1. Again, no permission from Apple Inc. or the Steve Jobs Estate is required for these ads to use “Apple” or “Steve Jobs” in the context presented.

  6. The answer is simple. Cadillac’s ad agency is Hill Holliday. Their expertise is pimping clients like Bank of America and Dunkin Donuts. Differing between mediocrity is magnificence is not in their skill set.

      1. Not sure what you are saying, but see Media Attorney’s said above: you don’t need anyone’s permission to make a statement of fact. If the agency wanted Apple in the a,d the mention would have been there.

        1. No, but a smart ad agency gets permission to use another company’s name (and therefore its image by association) before producing such a commercial. Hill Holiday wants to get Apple’s business someday, and making Tim Cook mad would definitely not be the way to go about getting it.

          1. Agreed. However, Hill Holliday isn’t in the same league as the agencies that handle accounts like Apple & Nike.

            A look at their client list reveals that they tend to advertise: bad banking, food that makes you fat and overpriced online education. So, I would suggest that they would never be in the running to be Apple’s agency. Ergo, minimal risk in mentioning SJ.

    1. Oh and there is another dimension to that list. It’s an ad for Hill Holliday. The companies mentioned are also the companies that Hill Holliday would like to have as clients.

      Hill Holliday pitched Dell and lost, not once but three times. So they are hoping they can woo HP by getting GM to pay for product placement. While Apple would have be a better pick, Hill Holliday is sufficiently self aware to know that Apple would’nt consider them.

      Not too long ago, the agency also pitched Haboro and lost, so they are looking for a little revenge and hoping that a Mattel mention might get them a foot in that door.

      Amazon and Disney are also the type of firms that wouldn’t conflict with existing clients and would be an important stop gap for Hill Holliday’s declining revenue (look them up and you will see that they have been laying off staff for the past several months – some cursory research seems to indicate that it’s around 20% of the agency so far).

      But before Apple fans feel pity for this this temple of doddering octogenarians, know that the agency was also trying to get a chunk of Samsung’s business, and lost.

      But it’s not all bad new for Hill Holliday, they were sufficiently conniving to get GM to pay for their new business advertising. So Gates, Bezos, and whatever chucklehead is running HP these days, if you are listening, give Hill Holliday a call; you’re made for each other.

  7. I don’t get it, they even at one point included an ipad in the glove compartment as the owners manual and had all the GM apps on it, did they have a tiff with Apple and are no longer doing it? Maybe that’s the answer.

  8. Noticed that too. And I get a kick out of how some tv shows are so blatant about showing the characters using the latest version of Windows or Android and the shows that use OS X or iOS don’t shove it in your face.
    The new Hawaii Five-O does sort of the same thing. After the pilot was shot with a new Mustang as the lead star’s car, GM bought primary sponsorship. Now, the lead car is a Camaro. And the only time you see a Mustang is when it’s owned by a bad guy and it ends up getting wrecked, blown up, or in the ocean.

    1. FYI, the Man of Steel movie made its production costs in paid product placement and other promotional funds before the movie was released, about $175 million.

        1. Republicans do not hate electric cars, they just hate the idea of them being forced on them. I would buy an electric car if they went further and did not cost so much. I do not believe the government should spend our money so others can get an electric car cheaper. Still waiting on the Lit company to come out with their electric motorcycle/car.

  9. My sense is, Apple does not want their brand associated with Cadillac.

    The Cadillac has always represented luxury in America and those who bought them were making a statement about their affluent lifestyle.

    Anymore, the Cadillac is faux luxury. It gives the appearance of fine craftsmanship, but underneath it’s a polished turd, just like zirconium, which passes for diamonds these days.

    Apple couldn’t be bothered with Cadillac nor the people who could care less about their cars’ carbon footprint.

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