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.
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.”