Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chrysler's Longball

I won't be running out to buy a Chrysler 200. I won't be moving into the city of Detroit.

But I'm proud as hell of the spot that Chrysler heaped on us during the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV.

About 160 million people watched the game on TV, by the way, so it wasn't like the 2:00 ad was played to a private audience of Detroit backers.

Some of those non-Detroiters are beside themselves. They just can't stand anything portraying Detroit in anything close to a positive light.

That's OK; I suspect that there were far more who were bedazzled with the spot than who are hating on it today.

I had the unusual experience of both watching the spot AND later strictly listening to it, minus the visual images.

I heard the audio played on the radio, and still it was riveting, even without the gritty, architectural images of Detroit.

That's because the script was dynamic---perfectly acknowledging Detroit's foibles along with pointing out that it's those very foibles that help us make great cars.

It also called out those who've written and said bad things about the city, many of whom have probably never even set foot within the city limits.

More than once I've heard people use the "goosebumps" word when it comes to describing the effect the ad had on them.

I can see that.

I happen to know the doorman featured in the ad---Chris Roddy, who mans the door at the Guardian Building downtown. Chris looked good!

So did the city, brought to the viewers by way of mainly architecture.

That's another thing that impressed me so much about the spot: the distinct lack of people in it was a strength, not a weakness.

The script spoke mainly about the human struggles the citizens have endured, and why those struggles make us more qualified than you might think to produce luxury cars.

Yet there were precious few people in the ad, and while that may seem to defeat the purpose, it didn't, because the combination of words, visuals, and music was so damn powerful.

And having Eminem step out of the car as a surprise was perfect. You couldn't have picked a better individual, because he cuts across several demographics.


Eminem's appearance at the end of the ad was a stroke of brilliance


I couldn't care less what others around the country think about the ad and about our city.

That's because most of them already have the ad absorbed into their subconscious, me thinks.

I'm clearly biased, but I think the Chrysler 200 ad we saw Sunday will go down as one of the most ballyhooed Super Bowl spots. Ever.

It was played during a football game, but I'm going to use a baseball analogy.

Chrysler and its ad agency hit a home run.

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