Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt Is Pitching Buick Cascadas
Ellie Kemper features in sassy, offbeat spots for the brand’s new convertible.
Buick has a convertible on sale in America for the first time in 25 years, and a fetching, eccentric ad campaign for the first time in forever. The Cascada droptop is at the center of the all-digital push, with Ellie Kemper—a.k.a. Erin Hannon from The Office, also a.k.a. Kimmie from The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt—just left-of-center. Supporting roles are played by a Buick Encore and Enclave, a square jawed “sweet piece of braniac arm candy,” and five red-headed, bespectacled little girls.
There are six “Imagine Yourself” spots channeling Kimmie to promote the Cascada, starting with a three-minute reel that sets up the comedy to follow. That’s where we learn the Enclave is somewhere you can “eat your pancakes in luxury.” The venture marks the first time you’ve heard the words “Buick” and “lighthearted vignettes” used without sarcasm. So truly lighthearted, in fact, that one of the spots is just a recap of Kemper’s facial expressions from the other spots.
And we have to admit, they got us. Yes, in six minutes worth of scenes, the only hard information we get about the Cascada is that it has a heated steering wheel, leather seats, and a button that raises and lowers the roof; in car-shopping terms, that’s considered “bupkis.” We don’t care. We were too busy chuckling to pay attention.
Buick has been moving metal for the past several years thanks to a successful line of crossovers, and it’s got another one on the way this year from China. Although the practical, high-rise haulers sell heaps more than convertibles, droptops get heaps more attention, and that’s what Buick is after. The company will run its first-ever Super Bowl commercial this year, featuring 23-year-old New York Giants phenom Odell Beckham Jr. and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit eyecandy Emily Ratajkowski.
The Kemper spots continue that charge at hipper, younger buyers who can help air out the brand’s association with arthritis medication and antimacassars. It’s crazy. In the best way. And we think it’s going to work.
- RELATED6 Biggest Super Bowl Car Commercial FlopsBig game airtime is $10 million per minute. Might as well have lit a pile of cash on fire.READ NOW
- RELATEDWhat If Buick Built a Camaro?The first surprise Detroit Auto Show debut is a twin-turbo, rear-drive coupe. And it comes from the least likely of sources.READ NOW
- RELATEDIs the Buick Regal GS the Best Cadillac You Can Buy?Critics’ Notebook for Jan. 15, 2016.READ NOW
- RELATEDCritics’ Notebook: 2016 Buick CascadaAutomotive Valium, not MDMA.READ NOW
- RELATEDThe Secret Lives of NFL StadiumsMotorcycle racing at MetLife? Hell yes.READ NOW