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Will Dylan Deliver Super Bowl Pitch for Chrysler?

Now merged with Fiat, U.S. makers apparently ready to declare the times, they are a’changin’.

by on Jan.30, 2014

“Well, the times they are a’changin’,” and nearly a half century after Bob Dylan made that the mantra of the counter-culture generation, Chrysler apparently sees that as the right message once again.

At least for Chrysler, which barely a week ago consummated its marriage with Italian automaker Fiat, this week delivering a four-fold increase in its profits while announcing that the newly united company would change its name to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, shift its headquarters to the Netherlands and begin listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. So, it seems, Dylan just might be the right person to tell the world as the latest in a series of unexpected celebratory pitchmen Chrysler has tapped for its unique, extended-form Super Bowl spots.

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Or so says Billboard magazine which claims to have gotten the inside word on preparations for the top secret spot Chrysler’s marketing team has been putting together in recent weeks.  And it would be a significant coup considering the 2-minute commercial will reportedly feature not just the singer’s music but an appearance by the 72-year-old Bob Dylan himself.


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.”

Chrysler Back – Minus Dirty Harry – With New “Halftime in America Ads”

Despite GOP criticism, theme resonates with American consumers.

by on Mar.30, 2012

A shot from Chrysler's new "Second Half" ad campaign.

Perhaps the biggest touchdown during this year’s Super Bowl was scored by Chrysler, which topped the charts with the response to its 2-minute “Halftime in America” ad featuring Clint Eastwood.

The unusually long spot, which reportedly cost the maker more than $10 million generated tremendous interest among American consumers – though it also triggered some wild criticism from the GOP.   Now, minus “Dirty Harry,” the Halftime campaign is coming back.

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Chrysler is turning the original spot into a series of commercials for each of its four individual brands: Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep.  Only the Fiat brand will be left on the sidelines.  The move is similar to what the smallest of the Detroit makers did in 2011 when it followed up another 2-minute Super Bowl spot, dubbed “Made in Detroit” with a series of shorter ads minus rapper Eminem.


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.”

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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.


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.

Eminem Says Audi A6 Ad Too Close for Comfort

Did German maker rip off Chrysler’s much-discussed Super Bowl commercial?

by on Jun.02, 2011

Hey you! Is Audi trying to rip off Eminem?

It’s a long way from Chrysler’s suburban Detroit headquarters to the Audi offices in Ingolstadt, but the German maker may have come a little too close to home for its U.S. rival and the rap star Eminem.

Audi is taking flak for a 2-minute video for the 2012 A6 Avant that allegedly mimics the well-reviewed Chrysler ad, featuring the rapper, that aired during the Super Bowl, earlier this year.  Eminem’s song licensing firm, Eight Mile Style, has taken the dispute to a German court in an attempt to bar Audi from running the ad.

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“Apparently, someone believes that the definition of copyright laws is the right to copy others’ materials,” said Gualberto Ranieri, chief spokesman for Chrysler told The Detroit Free Press which first reported on the brouhaha.


Chrysler Sues Over “Imported from Detroit” Tagline

Federal suit claims merchandiser using line without approval.

by on Mar.17, 2011

Chrysler has revised the "Imported from Detroit" logo and added new merchandise.

Chrysler is asking a federal court to block a Motown clothing distributor from using “Imported from Detroit” tagline the automaker introduced as part of its widely-discussed commercial presence in the Super Bowl.

The lawsuit claims Moda Group LLC, which operates the Pure Detroit website, has been using the “Imported from Detroit” line to merchandise its goods without Chrysler’s permission.

The tagline wrapped up an unusual – and hugely expensive — 2-minute commercial starring rapper Eminem.  Chrysler has since made the line its new theme, and has even begun marketing an array of its own merchandise billed as “Imported from Detroit.”

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Moda’s owners, Kevin Borsay and Shawn Santo, both from the Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe, were named as defendants.  But their spokesman said they had “no comment at this time,” adding, “We’ll be in touch.”

Chrysler’s commercial was ostensibly built around the launch of the new 200 model, but many analysts saw it more as a way of reintroducing the brand, which was nearly lost during the company’s 2009 bankruptcy.


Will Eminem Make Return Appearance for Chrysler?

Chrysler brand boss scheduled to meet with rapper.

by on Feb.10, 2011

Will Eminem return as Chrysler spokesman?

It was one of the highest-rated – and talked-about – commercials on the Super Bowl.  But will there be a reprise of the cinematic Chrysler spot, dubbed “Born of Fire,” that featured rapper Eminem?

That’s been a frequent topic of conversation almost from the moment the unusual 2:00 minute commercial aired during the second half of last Sunday’s game.  The emotion-tinged effort featured the rapper, born Marshall Mathers, driving through a city that has, as the narration explains, “been to hell and back,” before he joins a gospel choir to deliver an 11-word message that essential says Chrysler is back.

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Chrysler brand boss Olivier Francois is meeting with Eminem today as a follow-up to the spot, the executive revealed to, during an exclusive discussion at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.  While he didn’t deny that the idea of a follow-up might be raised, he cautioned, “It has to be relevant.”

“I will never engage with a celebrity just to have him a commercial,” that doesn’t have the significance, relevance and impact of the “Born of Fire” spot, which ended with a stern Eminem facing the camera and declaring, “This is the Motor City. And this is what we do.”


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.”