Former McDonald’s executive Deborah Wahl has just been hired to take the wheel at Cadillac. Though this may seem surprising, the fast food brand has retained a higher digital ranking and relevancy in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants than arguably trendier names like Taco Bell. As the historic carmaker struggles to revive its covet-ability, Wahl’s expertise in preserving McDonald’s classic appeal could come in handy.
Cadillac has displayed a willingness to experiment with digital, evidenced by its adoption of the subscription model with the BOOK by Cadillac program, which allows users to share luxury vehicles. However, the brand comes up short on other digital dimensions. It’s one of just two brands tracked in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto that don’t incorporate video on their vehicle information pages. An impressive 95% of brands provide videos that detail vehicle technology, up from 86% in 2017.
Although Wahl has experience working with auto brands like Chrysler, Lexus, and Ford, some of her most notable efforts were with McDonald’s, where she flipped the brand’s image, including refreshing the famous tagline, “I’m lovin’ it” and rolling out digital kiosks and customization. Additionally, Wahl added more fruit options to Happy Meals and extended the brand’s popular breakfast to an all-day meal, a move that led to an immediate sales lift for McDonald’s. If her experience at McDonald’s is any indication, Wahl’s future with Cadillac could include reigniting the aspects of the brand that made it a classic.