I’m a marketer. I love hooking people and selling them through relevant and creative means. During the Super Bowl XLV, I lit up like a case of fireworks on Twitter with instant reactions to ads on the #brandbowl hashtag. Some ads were outright hilarious, some were weak, and some were simply remarkable. I wanted to talk about one advertisement from Chrysler that really moved me.
If you are reading this and control your ad budget or work with an agency, mark my words.Make your ads touch your customers and prospects. Don’t’ just blow $3M dollars on an evening’s ad because your investors expect you to. Make a difference. Have a statement. Have a mission.
It starts with you caring. Care about your customers, your competitors, your employees and your industry.
It ends with you doing. Talk is talk, but you are revered and praised for action.
Chrysler had a remarkable ad. It wasn’t cheap. It wasn’t pushing their car as much as they could have. It was filmed around Detroit, MI with various shots of the city. It was narrated as an ominous voice speaking on behalf of the collective hivemind from the Detroit automotive industry. Acknowledging the industrial history of Detroit and their undying commitment to quality and nostalgia from the past.
Video: Imported from Detroit
The featured vehicle, a Chrysler 200 is driving through a tunnel and out on a highway. A familiar 8 Mile soundtrack (Lose Yourself) slowly fades in over the narrator. Then a familiar face is driving the car, Marshall Mathers III. You see him emotionless as he drives the car white-knuckled with his left hand on at twelve o’ clock on the steering wheel, he’s cruising from the afternoon into the evening. Throughout various images from across Detroit are flashed across the screen including portions of the car. It was genuinely, classy.
His destination is the city’s FOX Theater. He gets out and confidently walks inside, to be greeted with a choir group practicing. He continues to walk into the stage; the choir group fell silent. Then Mathers turns around, faces the camera and you can see the panache as he turns to the camera, “This is the motor city.” Pointing his finger boldly at the camera, he concluded, ”And this is what we do.” He leaves the stage and the footage ends with the car cruising Detroit’s streets at night.
The commercial concludes with three words:
Imported from Detroit.
This commercial is more than the inclusion of Eminem. While I admire him dearly as a talented musician, entertainer, performer and writer – he’s not ideal for most commercials. One thing he has always been passionate about is his hometown of Detroit. Evident in the motion picture, 8 Mile, he has a lot of respect and love for the city that has been otherwise popularized for layoffs from the automotive industry.
I find this commercial has two deep metaphors – the comeback of Marshal Mathers and our own automotive industry. Not just his rise to recent fame, but his accomplishment of getting over substance abuse and facing his pains head on. The Detroit auto industry is very much in a similar predicament. They are often criticized by the media as “Government Motors” for accepting an economic stimulus/bailout to survive. However, what doesn’t get shared is how GM and Chrysler have repaid their debts to the government. In addition, Ford has shown consistently strong financial strength more than ever in addition to increased innovation across their entire family of vehicles. This commercial gave all the thousands of workers and underprivileged families a voice – a voice of optimism that they will not be foreclosed on. They will hustle and grind through this like any other industry and land on top.
Thanks, Chrysler, for not spending $3M merely to promote your own cars like Hyundai did. I’m not the biggest fan of that 200, but I am incredibly moved by how you represented an entire industry – your competitors included. I love how you focused on the city, not the car first in the opening scene. I like how you supported a performer who is proud of his city, albeit in music entertainment, to speak, drive and support you in the ad. I thought this ad was well planned and well invested.
- Take a leadership position and stop talking about yourself.
- Have some conviction.
- Show your pride.
- Keep it simple.
What do you think?