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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.

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