Rap star and Detroit native Eminem drives a new Chrysler through the city streets, cruising past city landmarks, skyscrapers and residents. In the end, the celebrity gives a confident message: “This is the Motor City, and this is what we do.”
A day after the two-minute ad aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl, the spot was creating a new respect for the car company and Detroit. Both are hoping consumers will look past Chrysler’s expensive government bailout and embrace the idea of buying a vehicle made in Detroit.
“It’s like an anthem or rallying cry for Detroit,” Aaron Morrison of Mason City, Iowa wrote on Facebook. “It makes me want to buy my next car made in America.”
The television ad was unique in its length, extending 2 minutes long, the longest Super Bowl ad, getting broadcast during an sporting event where 30-second ads cost $3 million. The ad included some drab urban imagery, like empty factories, an attitude that recognized the city’s history and future.
“What does this city know about luxury, huh?” the narrator asked. “What does a town that’s been to hell and back know about the finer things in life? Well, I’ll tell you — more than most. You see, it’s the hottest fires that make the hardest steel.”
NM Incite, which tracks online comments, said the Chrysler ad was “the big story of the night,” saying the line “Imported in Detroit” was heavily repeated in online comments.
For Chrysler, which left bankruptcy in June 2009, the ad started a major campaign meant to draw shoppers back to showrooms.
“Detroit’s ascendancy mirrors Eminem’s own struggles and accomplishments,” Chrysler brand CEO and President Olivier Francois said in an e-mail. “This is not simply yet another celebrity in a TV spot. It has meaning.