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Chrysler and Eminem Score Big in Cannes

Super Bowl commercial nabs five major awards at international ad fest.

by on Jun.27, 2011

Chrysler's Eminem ad takes five awards at Cannes.

Chrysler’s widely watched “Born of Fire” Super Bowl commercial was one of the big winners at the Cannes Lions 58th International Festival of Creativity held in Cannes, France, nabbing five separate awards over the weekend.

The unusual two-minute spot, which featured Detroit-based rapper Eminem, took Four Gold Lions awarded to the brand for Best Direction, Best Script, Best Use of Music, Best Automotive Commercial and Best Editing.  The spot also took a Bronze Lion for Best Editing.

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The spot was something of a coming-out for the long-troubled automaker, which had largely reined in its marketing efforts in the wake of its 2009 bankruptcy.  While most advertisers chose to go for 30 second spots on the Super Bowl, arguably the year’s most-watched television event, Chrysler spent an estimated $9 million to $10 million to produce and air a 2-minute commercial that market the debut of its new 200 sedan.

The ad, which featured Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” presented a visual image of a gritty Detroit struggling to re-emerge from years of decline – a metaphor for the Chrysler brand itself.  The tagline, “Imported from Detroit,” has now been adopted for the broader Chrysler line, and the maker has even introduced a line-up of T-shirts and other goods bearing the slogan.

The commercial generated tremendous debate in the days and weeks after the Super Bowl and has since been watched on media websites like YouTube by tens of millions more viewers.

“The Chrysler Brand is humbled to be awarded with such a prestigious honor at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity,” said Olivier Francois, President and CEO of Chrysler Brand and Lead Executive for Marketing, Chrysler Group LLC.

As reported, earlier this year, Chrysler officials met with Eminem – real name Marshall Mathers – to discuss a possible reprise to his role in the 2-minute ad.  But Francois cautioned that the maker would not run a second spot simply for celebrity value, preferring to focus on brand attributes and products.  So far, no match for Chrysler and Eminem has been found.

But various elements of the long commercial – along with video not used in the original – have been edited together into additional spots and promotional material for the Chrysler brand.

Chrysler & Eminem Generate Big Buzz With Super Bowl Spot

“Imported from Detroit"?

by on Feb.07, 2011

Born of Fire...Imported from Detroit. Rapper Eminem's spot for Chrysler is generating plenty of buzz.

There was a game on, last night.  Yet, as often happens, Super Bowl becomes for many just a filler for the real battle — between advertisers.  As tough as the fight was between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, the real war pitted the eight automakers who spent an estimated $100,000 a second to get their message across.

While most makers were satisfied with :30 second spots, Chrysler went with a budget-busting 2 minute commercial featuring native son Marshall Mathers, better known to most of the world as rapper Eminem.  It was an eye-opening spot that didn’t hide the down-and-dirty side of the beleaguered Motor City – but it also delivered a surprising message of transformation far different from the “Buy American” paean to patriotism that Detroit makers traditionally have used to cover their flaws.

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And in the process, Chrysler and Eminem appear to have the nation buzzing.  The commercial is the most-searched item on Google this morning.

(Miss it? Click Here to view the commercial.)

The spot that ran in the third quarter, as the Packers and Steelers scrambled for control, was appropriately dubbed “Born of Fire,” and bore a pulsing background track from his song, “Lose Yourself,” from the movie, 8 Mile.

The images of the new Chrysler 200, and even of Eminem, were almost secondary to those of the City of Detroit.  There were the smoking factories and the ruined buildings, close-ups of Diego Rivera’s legendary murals, and a choir in the restored Fox Theater.

“This is the Motor City,” said the rapper, climbing the stage and pointing his finger directly into the nation’s face, “And this is what we do.”