Posted by: Jenn Deering Davis | February 7, 2011

Chrysler, Eminem and why a car commercial makes me feel patriotic

My favorite ad from this year’s Super Bowl was definitely Chrysler’s Imported from Detroit commercial. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

This commercial was the most-tweeted-about Super Bowl ad of the night! We used TweetReach to perform analysis on tweets about Super Bowl ad. I wrote an in-depth blog post about this commercial for the TweetReach blog that went into more detail about the ad’s stats, but I wanted to talk why I personally liked it here.

Detroit has been hit hard in the past few decades as the U.S. auto industry has struggled to compete with increasingly popular imported vehicles. Images of the devastating decay in the Motor City are haunting. In recent years, both General Motors and Chrysler – two of the Big Three auto makers in Detroit – filed for bankruptcy and received billions of dollars in federal aid. And while Detroit and its big car companies have been very public examples, they’re not the only ones who have been struggling lately. It’s been a rough few years in the United States as we’re fighting to get out of one of the worst recessions in the last century.

The Chrysler commercial was not just an advertisement for a car (the new Chrysler 200, actually), but it was a statement of hope and a commitment to the future. And I don’t think I’m the only one who felt like maybe this ad wasn’t just about Detroit. It was about all of us. And this is why it resounded so strongly with so many people. In the midst of all the other silly, immature, even mean-spirited ads for soft drinks and snack foods, the Chrysler ad felt honest and authentic, which made it really stand out.

In the ad, the narrator says:

I got a question for you. What does this city know about luxury, hmm? 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. Add hard work and conviction. And the know-how that runs generations deep in every last one of us. That’s who we are.

That’s our story. Now it’s probably not the one you’ve been reading in the papers, the one being written by folks who have never even been here and don’t know what we’re capable of. Because when it comes to luxury, it’s as much about where it’s from as who it’s for.

Now we’re from America – but this isn’t New York City. Or the Windy City. Or Sin City. And we’re certainly no one’s Emerald City.

Replace “city” and “town” with “country” and you’ve got a beautifully worded commentary about the United States. It’s been a tough ride, but we’re tough. We no strangers to hard work and difficult times, but we always come out stronger than before. Or, to paraphrase Eminen, “This is the United States, and this is what we do.”

Or, maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe it’s just an advertisement. But it feels like something important.

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