Super Buzz For Chrysler Super Bowl Ad

Updated Monday evening

Only seconds after Chrysler’s two-minute ad ran during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the social media world was ablaze. A day later, the commercial, which featured the Chrysler 200, and rapper Eminem, had been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube, with “likes” outpacing “dislikes” by 13,000 to 435.

By Monday night, the ad was featured on NBC Nightly News in a report by Anne Thompson. And, it was still generating talk on Twitter and Facebook.

But is it an ad for a car — or an ad about Detroit? And who benefited more, the car company or the city?
Maybe it doesn’t matter.

The ad, in itself, is notable for a number of reasons. It’s the first two-minute ad to run during a Super Bowl telecast. The ad features Detroit native Eminem (who would have been more of a coup if he hadn’t taken part in a Brisk iced-tea ad earlier in the football game).

Beyond its length and its star, the ad makes the city look breathtaking. It has all the gloss and dark sophistication of a major motion picture. And it clearly counteracted the  “ruin porn” for which Detroit is better known — those  images of deteriorating, once-elegant buildings that are everywhere across the city.

The New York Times reported that the ad cost under $9 million to make, more than the budget for some of the independent films being shot in Detroit these days.

Jalopnik.com, the auto enthusiast site that’s a good friend to Changing Gears, jumped for joy within minutes of the ad reaching the airwaves.

“Chrysler’s Eminem ‘Imported From Detroit’ Super Bowl Ad is Amazing,” declared Ray Wert, Jalopnik’s Editor in Chief. “The commercial seriously gave me chills,” Wert wrote.

“Detroit Shines in Super Bowl Ads,” said the Detroit News in the lead story on its Web site on Monday, while the Detroit Free Press challenged readers to “name the landmarks” in the ad.

However, the ad may not have resonated outside the city the way it did with Detroiters.

Stuart Elliott, the Times’ veteran advertising writer who began his career at the Free Press, did not include it on a list of his top picks among Super Bowl ads. Elliott’s list included only ads provided in advance, and Chrysler kept the wraps on its ad until it aired in the second half.

At USA Today, which runs an annual AdMeter in which viewers rate their favorite ads, the Chrysler ad ranked 44th among Super Bowl ads. The winners: a tie between Budweiser and Doritos.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Chrysler was the only Detroit auto company to advertise on the Super Bowl. There also were ads from Chevrolet, a division of General Motors.

6 Replies to “Super Buzz For Chrysler Super Bowl Ad”

  1. I thought the ad was fantastic. Most of the Bud and Doritos ads seem to be in a race to appeal to teenage boys, but I guess that is the prized demographic, ha-ha.

  2. There were GM ads last night, so Chrysler wasn’t the only Detroit automaker represented.

    I grew up in Livonia, my dad worked 40 years for GM, and I worked there for 2 years out of college. I found the ad to be very powerful. Then again, 8 Mile was a pretty good movie. I’m not sure either really made me want to go buy a Chrysler. Are people buying cars out of loyalty to America? Market share numbers would seem to indicate otherwise. I think the burning question is “has Chrysler’s quality improved?”

    The particular thing I didn’t like was the tagline at the end, “Imported from Detroit.” I took that as a bit of a slap in the face that Chrysler is now owned by Fiat and is no longer really an American company, as it was in the Iacocca days.

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I thought that was a bit tacky and not well thought out on Chrysler/Fiat’s part.

    I think it does matter, otherwise Chrysler wasted $3M.

    More offensive was GM’s ad mocking the elderly. That seemed like a poor decision too, but not “Groupon bad.”

  3. You wrote “It was the only ad from a Detroit car company in last night’s broadcast”

    Did you mean “It was the only ad from the Detroit car company in last night’s broadcast” ? Chevrolet had six, according to the USA Today page you linked to–of course, most of them were pretty bad. (And, I agree, the old-people Chevy ad was pretty offensive.)

  4. The great thing about this ad is that it’s not misleading. The new 200 really is leaps and bounds better than the old Sebring it’s based on, and being built in Michigan, it would make a great standard bearer for Chrysler. I’ll readily admit that it’s not as much car as some of its competitors like the Hyundai Sonata or perennial Honda Accord, but the improvement over the old Sebring bones makes me thrilled for what the company can do when it redesigns the car on a new platform.

    Detroit and Chrysler both have a long way to go, but based on my recent experiences with both, they’re on the right track.

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