A car salesman and a buyer chat, with some of the usual questions tossed back and forth. What kind of bells and whistles does this model have? Does it have a navigation system? Within just a few seconds, the deal's done. The buyer doesn't even need financing. He offers to pay cash. Sticker price, no less. So, this is fiction, right?
It's a scene from a recent episode of Damages, a legal thriller on FX that has Cadillac embedded deep in its story in this second season. The car buyer, one of the show's many well-heeled villains in suits, walked away with an Escalade Hybrid SUV and later used that state-of-the-art navigation system to perpetrate some evil deeds. General Motors has been with the critically lauded drama since its first-season premiere, with commercial-free episodes and product placement. Season two gives the struggling automaker prime-time TV exposure at a time when it's pulling back its traditional ad spending. (GM execs reportedly made the integration deal before the crap really hit the fan.)
The relationship between Caddy and Damages has deepened, with the marketer offering a trip to Costa Rica in a sweepstakes contest. Too bad GM can't just cut and run.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley