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Chrysler Working Up Another Super Bowl Blockbuster Ad

But this time, the cars may be the stars.

by on Oct.08, 2012

Chrysler's global marketing chief went out on a limb - or more accurately, out in a blizzard - to get rapper Eminem for a much-watched Super Bowl ad.

Few advertisers have created such a stir during the Super Bowl as Chrysler, which knocked it out of the park in 2011 with an unusual, 2-minute commercial featuring rapper Eminem, then came back with the controversial Clint Eastwood commercial during the 2012 Super Bowl.

Might the maker try to score again with a spot during next year’s big game, typically one of the most widely viewed TV events in the world?

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“Yes, we are leaning towards being there,” said Chrysler’s global marketing czar Olivier Francois. In a conversation with, he admitted that the challenge is coming up with another breakout idea. “Clearly, topping what we have done so far – no mystery – is not going to be easy.”


Chrysler Wins Big for “Imported from Detroit” Campaign

“Grand Effie” for controversial Super Bowl spot.

by on May.25, 2012

Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" campaign lands a Grand Effie as the most effective ad campaign of the year. The first spot featured rapper Eminem.

Controversial? Perhaps, but a jury of its peers also has found Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit” Super Bowl spot highly effective.

The campaign, which includes a series of ads playing off the Super Bowl spots with rapper Eminem — and then followed this year by commercials narrated by Clint Eastwood — has won a Grand Effie, the advertising industry’s answer to the Oscar.

“Imported from Detroit was the Grand Effie winner because they sold the product, the category and the city,” said Deborah Sandler, a Grand Effie jury member, following the 44th annual Effie Awards Gala in New York City.

Produced by agency Wieden+Kennedy, Imported from Detroit was declared the Grand Effie winner, the equivalent of best-in-show or, if you prefer, the advertising world’s Best Film.

The winner wasn’t finalized until hours before the event, organizers revealed, Chrysler’s campaign against up against some tough competition that included: Allstate Insurance Company’s Mayhem, Kellogg’s Special K’s What Will You Gain When You Lose?, Troy Public Library’s Book Burning Party, and IKEA’s Moving Day.

Chrysler’s original Imported from Detroit ad, shown during the 2011 Super Bowl, was a standout if, for no other reason, its 2-minute length and its use of rapper Eminem. The 2012 version was equally long but shifted to Clint Eastwood who delivered a gritty rap of his own, so to speak, about American willpower.

Ironically, the second Super Bowl spot triggered sharp rebukes from some critics, including several prominent leaders of the GOP, who felt it promoted the controversial 2009 federal bailout of Chrysler (and cross-town rival General Motors).  Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne later insisted there was no political intent to the campaign.  For their part, members of the Effie jury focused on the effectiveness of Wieden+Kennedy’s efforts.

“The Chrysler work had a depth of effectiveness that stood out from the rest of the Grand Effie Finalists. They gave that brand its soul back,” said another Grand Effie jury member, Jeff Benjamin, CCO, North America, JWT.

As with the Academy Awards, the Effies cover a wide range of categories, and among other automotive winners were Porsche, which took second place in the autos category for its campaign for the seventh-generation 911 sports car.  Chevrolet grabbed third for its “More than Electric” pitch for the Chevy Volt.  Kia was honored in a separate category for its “Slam Dunk” commercial.


Other automotive winners at the Effie Awards included Porsche grabbing second place in the automotive category for “How Porsche created new relevance for a revered icon,” and Chevrolet taking third for “Chevy Volt, it’s more than electric.”

Kia also grabbed a third-place honor in the Single Impact Engagement category for its “Not your average slam dunk” commercial.

Beyond the automotive industry, Effie organizers announced “Procter & Gamble is the most effective advertiser in North America, IBM is the most effective brand, WPP is the most effective advertising holding company and Ogilvy & Mather is the most effective advertising agency network. Ogilvy & Mather’s New York office is the most effective individual agency office, while McKinney, based in Durham, North Carolina, is the most effective independently held advertising agency.”

Marty’s Marketing Minutia Special: Chrysler Sends in the Second Team

They make you feel good, but do Chrysler's Second Half commercials get you to buy a car?

by on Apr.02, 2012

A scene from the new Chrysler "Second Half" ad "Tommy and the Ram.".

Way back then, when Don Draper and his pals (and a few of us who were there in those halcyon days) were pitching a piece of new business from a major corporate client the conundrum was, “Should we pitch with product or institutional creative?”  More times than not, institutional – the warm and fuzzy, feel good, selling the big picture, aren’t we magnificent, munificent and magnanimous outlook — won hands down.

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It made the prospective client nod their heads in approbation because the company looked terrific which reflected positively on our not-so-noble, okay crass, intentions no matter how insincere our sincere ads were.  And, yes, it won some business too.

And that is what advertising is supposed to do – sell things!


Chrysler’s Clint Eastwood Commercial Caught Up in Political Storm

Made in Detroit? Er, Louisiana?

by on Feb.08, 2012

Eastwood may be a Republican strongly opposed to the auto bailout but that hasn't stopped critics from insisting the Chrysler ad was a paid commercial for the Obama Administration.

What would Dirty Harry do?  It might take a no-nonsense cop to sort through the political firestorm that has been generated by the much-watched and widely discussed 2-minute Chrysler commercial – starring actor Clint Eastwood — that aired during this past weekend’s Super Bowl.

Was it “not political” as Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne insists?  Or was it a less-than-subtle “thank you” to the Obama Administration for the maker’s 2009 bailout?  Meanwhile, the controversy was only escalated as it turns out much of the video used in the “Halftime in America” spot was filmed near New Orleans, despite the Chrysler tagline, “Made in Detroit.”

Tackling the News!

The “Halftime” commercial was, on the whole, one of the most popular of the many ads to run during Super Bowl XLVI according to a variety of tracking sources, including Ace Metrix and the consumer panel put together by newspaper USA Today.  The unusually long spot – which followed the format of a commercial featuring rapper Eminem during the 2011 bowl game – took aim at the malaise and fears that seem to be overwhelming America today.  One might argue that the message could have come from either political party and almost hinted at the legendary “Morning in America” campaign used three decades ago by then presidential candidate Ronald Reagan.


Chrysler Feeling Lucky (Punk) As Eastwood Ad is Restored

No explanation why ad was pulled.

by on Feb.06, 2012

The Clint Eastwood "Halftime in America" ad is returned to Youtube.

(Editor’s Note: Check back for more as we update this breaking news story.)

Chrysler’s widely-discussed 2-minute Super Bowl ad featuring Clint Eastwood has been restored on Youtube after being pulled down, for a number of hours due to what was described as a “copyright claim” from the NFL.

The problem is that neither Chrysler nor the NFL — nor Google, which operates the Youtube service — can explain what was, in fact, behind the supposed copyright issue or the temporary blockage of the socially-sensitive spot, dubbed “Halftime in America.” The unusual 2-minute spot, which originally aired at the end of halftime during Super Bowl XLVI, focused on solving the nation’s current problems rather than offering the traditional automotive hard-sell.

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“We’re investigating but we have no explanation for why it was taken down” in the first place, Chrysler spokesperson Dianna Guttierez told  An official with the NFL, meanwhile, said the professional sports league did not have a problem with the ad, hadn’t asked for it to be taken down and has since notified Google there is no dispute that should block the Eastwood spot’s distribution.


Did Chrysler Pull Clint Eastwood Ad Over NFL Copyright Dispute?

Maker denying news reports – but blocks YouTube access to “Halftime in America.”

by on Feb.06, 2012

Is there a copyright problem with the Chrysler/Clint Eastwood ad?

(Editor’s Note: Check back for more as we update this breaking news story.)

An apparent copyright dispute with the NFL has forced Chrysler to block access to the Youtube version of its much-discussed “Halftime in America” commercial, starring Clint Eastwood.  The unusual 2-minute spot, which originally aired at the end of halftime during Super Bowl XLVI, focused on solving the nation’s current problems rather than offering the traditional automotive hard-sell.

Following a year after an earlier 2-minute spot that featured rapper Eminem and focused on Detroit’s comeback, the Eastwood commercial triggered massive discussions on social media and a flood of viewers who raced to replay the spot on sites such as YouTube.

But what caused Chrysler to pull the ad and state that, “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by NFL Properties LLC” is unclear.  Just before 10 AM Eastern Time, Chrysler issued a media alert advising that it had received reports the link to the commercial “did not work.  Our apologies!”  The media advisory included an updated link that allows a journalist to view or download the spot without trouble.  (Click Here.)

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A call to the maker’s press office in Auburn Hills, Michigan left the answer unresolved, with an administrative assistant claiming there was no problem with the ad but officials so far unable to explain why the ad was pulled from Chrysler’s own Youtube page.  Adding to the confusion, the cinematic commercial was uploaded by a number of individuals and so far, at least, Youtube, Chrysler and the NFL have made no effort to pull any of them down.


Clint Eastwood Makes Chrysler’s Day

Delivers striking Super Bowl “Halftime” message for automaker.

by on Feb.06, 2012

"It's halftime in America," declared actor Clint Eastwood in the latest Chrysler Super Bowl ad.

He didn’t sell beer, corn chips or soft drinks, and he certainly wasn’t aiming for laughs. But Clint Eastwood’s unusual appearance in a Chrysler corporate Super Bowl commercial has become one of the widely watched game’s most talked-about spots.

The turn by the well-respected star marked the second year in a row that Chrysler focused as much or more on a social issue as on its own products with a long and costly commercial dubbed, “It’s Halftime in America.”

Tackling the News!

In 2011, the resurgent automaker enlisted rapper Eminem to anchor a 2-minute commercial that focused specifically on Detroit, a city – and a domestic industry — long counted out by many Americans.  For Super Bowl XLVI, the highly cinematic and equally lengthy Chrysler spot opens with an actor sometimes known as “the man with no name” emerging from the shadows to address the troubled times the nation is now facing.